GR{KNOW} | Temporary Restaurant Closings Due to Staff COVID Cases

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, transparency for patron and employee safety is more important than ever. Many restaurants have used similar language on social media to communicate the status of employees who have either — on the most proactive side, as shown by Matchbox Diner — reported a fever and are awaiting COVID test results or have confirmed cases. Here is a list of local restaurants who have made this announcement as of July 1, as well as any reopening developments.

List in chronological order from date announced

  1. Donkey Taqueria announced via social media on Thursday, June 25 that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19. It is now open for takeout and dine in.
  2. Long Road Distillers The Grand Haven location closed Thursday, June 25, noting the employee who tested positive had last worked the Thursday prior (June 18; see full Facebook post here). It reopened Tuesday, June 30 with open-air seating options on Washington Street.
  3. Bostwick Lake Inn temporarily closed on Thursday, June 25 after an employee tested positive for the virus. The announcement was made via Facebook. Additional reporting by Fox 17 News, here. Update: The establishment reopened for dine-in Thursday, July 2 at 4 pm.
  4. Butcher’s Union After reopening merely days prior, Butcher’s Union closed its doors temporarily on Saturday, June 27. The announcement was originally made on social media, but the post has since been removed; additional reopening details forthcoming. Additional reporting via MLive.
  5. The B.O.B. announced via its website and Facebook that it was closing temporarily on Saturday, June 27. Its notice included a reminder of safety precautions: “As bars and restaurants in West Michigan continue to wrestle with the hardships of COVID-19, we want to reinforce that it is essential that restaurant-goers everywhere wear a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines, when choosing to dine-out. You may view our COVID-19 policy and safety precautions in full at www.thegilmorecollection.com/covid.” According to the post, “weddings and special events scheduled at The BOB during the month of July have not been cancelled.” 
  6. O’Tooles MLive reported that O’Tooles temporarily closed on Saturday, June 27. An announcement was made on social media, but has since been removed.
  7. Winchester On Tuesday, June 30, Winchester announced via social media that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19. The establishment reopened on Thursday, July 2.
  8. Matchbox Diner On Tuesday afternoon, June 30, Matchbox Diner announced on its Facebook that an employee awoke with a fever and was being tested for COVID-19. The remainder of the post states: “We have made the decision to close our restaurant until the results of that test are known and we can ensure the safety of our staff and our community. Please know we continue to follow all safety protocols recommended by the state and the CDC and are grateful for your continued support. Be safe, Grand Rapids. We love you.” Update: With its team member testing negative, the restaurant reopened at 11 am on Thursday, July 2.

Updates as of July 3:
Since publication, the following restaurants have announced temporary closings due to an employee testing positive for the virus:

Osteria Rossa announced its temporary closing Thursday, July 2. The restaurant plans to reopen Wednesday, July 8. The staff member who tested positive hadn’t worked in over a week, according to its post.

The Green Well announced Tuesday, June 30 and started a comprehensive contact-tracing plan with Kent County Health Department (see post). The restaurant reopened Thursday, July 2, noting adherence to guidelines and extra precautions taken with use of “Enviro-Shield Disinfection technology by JAN-PRO, a CDC-approved electrostatic process that helps in killing 99.9% of bacteria, harmful fungus and coronavirus.”

Olive’s Restaurant and Bar announced Wednesday, July 1 that it will be closing “through the end of the week.” See post here.

On Thursday, July 2, the industry came together with a message to the public called MI Restaurant Promise. The website includes a growing list of restaurants who have signaled their commitment.

We’ll continue to note developments in the restaurant community as they occur, with utmost care for the safety of the public and the vitality of the restaurant community.