Several restaurants temporarily close across the Suncoast as coronavirus cases rise

Temporary restaurant closures amid rising COVID-19 cases

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Florida has now hit more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases since March.

Last week we saw several daily records being surpassed.

As the state moves through phase 2 now several restaurants are choosing to close their doors temporarily.

Several restaurants across the Suncoast have shut their doors because employees have tested positive or as a safety concern and precaution.

“It’s going to be a tough road moving forward but restaurants are very resilient,” said furloughed worker, Josh Cunningham.

An industry that was hit hard economically because of the closures caused by the pandemic could be seeing a second wave of issues.

“If the restaurant does it properly and they evoke confidence in their customers and their guests. And their guests go and they feel like they have a safe clean and happy experience then those restaurants will survive. Unfortunately, as we’re seeing some restaurants aren’t doing it responsibly. So, guests and employees are getting sick. And they’re forcing to shut down. Since they did it irresponsibly,” said Cunningham.

With on-going concerns due to Covid-19, we have decided to close down for both the safety of our staff and guests alike....

Posted by Evie's Tavern & Grill on Main St. on Friday, June 19, 2020

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe is one of the restaurants who closed after an employee tested positive.

In a social media post, they said safety is their priority and since reopening their employees have been wearing masks and there’s been increased cleaning.

Hi Everyone! We are voluntarily closing this Monday through Friday to properly disinfect and sterilize our restaurant,...

Posted by El Melvin Sarasota on Monday, June 22, 2020

Sea Hut Crab Trap is another place closed temporarily after two employees tested positive for the coronavirus stating they don’t want to take chances on the health of their employees or customers.

After much thought and needing the time to process and research all the information available before making a formal...

Posted by Sea Hut/Crab Trap on Friday, June 19, 2020

“We’re seeing restaurants closing already. That have reopened. We can’t see into the future we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Jen Zak with CareerSource Suncoast.

Attention Raffurty's Family

Posted by Raffurty’s Bar and Grill on Friday, June 19, 2020

She says although restaurants are beginning to close again, they haven’t seen the impacts of that on the unemployment numbers so far.

However, Zak says there are options if there is a second wave of mass unemployment.

“If somebody is unemployed and they’re looking to get back to work right away we have grants that can help them. We have our dislocated worker grant that can help them into temporary employment to get their foot in the door,” said Zak.

Cunningham has been in the service industry for more than two decades. The restaurant he was working in stayed open but he was furloughed last week because of the economic issues the pandemic has brought to businesses.

Cunningham says he applied for unemployment last week and is already receiving benefits.

As for restaurants who have closed many haven’t said when they will begin reopening again.

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