SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – For local bars and restaurants, doors haven’t been open for long following COVID-19 shutdowns. But more than a dozen have recently decided to close again after staff members or customers contracted the virus.
Georgia’s governor gave the green light for indoor dining on Monday, April 27, and restrictions have been eased since. In South Carolina, dine-in services have only been an option since Monday, May 11.
The director of the Coastal Health District says the health department doesn’t require closures when a customer tests positive but establishments are strongly encouraged to notify them if an employee does.
Some bars and restaurants have taken to social media to notify customers of possible coronavirus exposure, again, something that isn’t required.
Below, News 3 has gathered a running list of establishments that have announced they are shutting down for cleaning and testing employees.
The Collins Quarter
Both Savannah locations closed Friday, June 26, after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.
Collins Quarter on Bull Street will reopen Thursday followed by the Forsyth Park location on Friday.
On Thursday, June 25, the Savannah restaurant announced it would close down as a proactive measure until all employees received negative test results.
Bull Street Taco
The Savannah restaurant announced on Thursday, June 25, it would close after a team member tested positive for COVID-19.
“That said, we are closing up temporarily to deep clean and send the rest of our staff for testing,” Bull Street Taco posted online.
Lulu’s Chocolate Bar
The Savannah dessert bar on Thursday, June 25, announced an employee tested positive for the virus.
“Although they haven’t worked in a while, we have decided to close to allow for our remaining staff to be tested and self-quarantine,” Lulu’s stated on Facebook.
No word yet when they will reopen.
Ben’s Neighborhood Grill & TAP
The Savannah bar and burger joint on Wednesday, June 24, announced it would close after a staff member contracted COVID-19. All employees are being tested and Ben’s will determine when to reopen after results return.
The Olde Pink House
Just eight days after opening back up with regular hours, the Savannah restaurant announced it would be closing down temporarily after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
Tubby’s Tank House
On Wednesday, June 24, the Thunderbolt restaurant announced that an employee tested positive for the virus. The restaurant will be closing down for “several days.” The River Street location remains open.
On Saturday, June 20 the Savannnah brewery announced it would be closing for business until further notice after learning a staff member tested positive for the virus.
“For now, our entire team has been notified and everyone will be tested this coming week,” Service Brewing posted on Facebook. “Once the results come back, we will have a better idea of when we can safely get back to serving our community.”
The Melting Pot
On Tuesday, June 23, the Savannah restaurant announced a team member tested positive for the coronavirus and would be closing down for cleaning.
The Wilmington Restaurant announced on Thursday, June 18 it was closing for “the next few days” after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
The Rail Pub
The Savannah bar on Sunday, June 21, announced it was closing temporarily for deep cleaning after discovering some customers had contracted the virus.
The bar was only open for two weeks after the shutdown when they got the news.
News 3 spoke with the general manager and local officials about the closure. Read more here.
Leopold’s Ice Cream
The famous ice cream shop announced on Saturday, June 27 that it is closing temporarily after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.
Updates will be provided on social media.
Jazz’d Tapas Bar
Jazz’d announced on Saturday, June 27 that it will be closing temporarily due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19.
The restaurant is set to reopen on Thursday, July 2 after taking time to deep clean and sanitize.
The dueling piano bar closed its doors on June 25 to test all employees as a precaution.
Management said on Facebook that no employees were sick or tested positive before the closing. The bar will reopen on Thursday, July 2.
Prohibition bar announced on June 22 that it will remain closed until further notice.
“In order to ensure the safety of our staff and customers we have decided to remain closed until we are through the worst of this pandemic.” the bar said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and will reopen only when we feel that it will not be to the detriment of our community and staff. Please stay safe.”
Mixx on Main
The Hilton Head Island restaurant announced Saturday, June 20, it would shut down temporarily because “two persons close to our staff have tested positive in recent days.”
Meanwhile, The Island Packet reports Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill on Hilton Head Island are shutting down for good.
And after nearly 17 years, The Jinx in Savannah is closing. The owner says the pandemic has left them unable to pay rent.