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State closes Hanover restaurant for not following COVID safety rules

Posted at 3:03 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 18:35:59-04

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. -- A Hanover judge issued a temporary restraining order closing Calabash Seafood Restaurant in Mechanicsville, according to the Virginia Attorney General's Office.

The restaurant drew the scrutiny of state health leaders over the summer when management allegedly ignored COVID-19 safety protocols and later operated without its license for several weeks.

Restaurant ownership had no comment about the situation when reached out last month.

"The local Health Department has received dozens of complaints about Calabash Seafood, including that it was allegedly allowing indoor dining before it was permitted. Even after indoor dining has been permitted, the restaurant has been operating with little to no mask usage by employees or patrons, allowed bar seating and dance floors, and has made little to no effort to comply with social distancing requirements," the attorney general's office wrote in an email about the complaints last month."The complaint explains that the manager of the restaurant did not take the threat of COVID seriously, saying that the 'health department could not tell him what to do,' that 'the servers did not need to wear face coverings,' and that he 'did not see the need for face coverings, claiming that COVID-19 was pretty much over.'"

Calabash Seafood Restaurant continued to operate after its license was suspended in late July and reminded of the suspension in mid-August, according to the attorney general's office.