The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, a Charlotte restaurant that specializes in burgers and sushi, is voluntarily closed after multiple employees and patrons have reported illnesses. The eatery originally closed last week after first learning of a problem. It reopened on Sunday, but closed again Wednesday after more illnesses were reported. In a statement posted on Facebook, the The Cowfish said it's working with local officials to overcome the issue.
"We will remain closed at least through Sunday to allow time for a professional cleaning company to sanitize the restaurant again, and ensure all potential sources of the suspected virus have been eliminated," the statement reads. "We also will continue to work with health officials to be sure we are doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of our guests and employees."
The cause has not yet been determined. Health department officials originally suspected norovirus, but a spokesperson disputed that claim in a Charlotte Observer report on Wednesday. Norovirus causes vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, and it's the most common cause of food-borne illness outbreaks each year, according to the CDC.
The Cowfish shares a home state with U.S. Senator Thomas Tillis, who in February declared that restaurant employees should not be required to wash their hands after using the restroom. The restaurant also has locations in Raleigh, N.C., and Orlando, and an Atlanta outpost is on track to open later this year.