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Restaurants and Bars Shuttered Across the U.S. in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic

The dining scenes of America’s three largest cities are effectively shut down

Crowd of people outside Comedy Cellar
Crowds gather in Manhattan outside Comedy Cellar. Management of the club told Eater it turned many people away due to a reduced capacity mandate.
Gary He/Eater

As the number of cases of the novel coronavirus continue to grow, states and municipalities across the U.S. are taking drastic measures to enforce social distancing — a step that’s imperative to slowing the virus’s spread — from mandatory closures to curfews and reduced capacities.

The governors of 15 states have taken the most dramatic state-wide steps, ordering all bars and restaurants closed for dine-in service. Carryout and delivery will continue to be permitted. Mayors of major U.S. cities where there are currently now statewide mandates, like Houston and Dallas, have made the same call. Elsewhere, scores of restaurants have voluntarily closed across the country in cities like Las Vegas, Atlanta, Nashville, and Minneapolis, with more closing by the hour. Nationally, large restaurant groups Momofuku and José Andrés have closed all of their restaurants in New York and D.C. Momofuku also shuttered its Los Angeles restaurants, while some of Andrés’s are being converted to takeout-only “community kitchens.” Blue Bottle has also announced that it’s closing all of its domestic cafes.

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said Sunday in an appearance on CNN that he wouldn’t rule out supporting a national lockdown on the country’s restaurants as a strategy to prevent wider spread. Spain and France closed down all restaurant and bar activities over the weekend to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Republic of Ireland closed down pubs.

The move towards closures highlights the importance of social distancing in fighting the global pandemic. By reducing contact and increasing distance between individuals, people can reduce the rate of transmission of the virus. If countries don’t succeed in “flattening the curve” (reducing the number of patients requiring treatment at a given time), the disease threatens to overwhelm hospitals with patients.

Here’s a list of the state- and citywide mandated closures. We’ll continue update this post as new information becomes available.

States with imposed restaurant shutdowns

State What's affected What's allowed Projected timeframe Effective date
State What's affected What's allowed Projected timeframe Effective date
California dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery 3/16/20
Colorado dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through April 17 3/17/20
Connecticut dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through April 30 3/16/20
Florida restaurant occupancy limited to 50% of capacity; all bars and nightclubs closed dine-in allowed at 50% occupancy through April 16 3/17/20
Illinois dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through March 3/16/20
Iowa dine-in options takeout, delivery, and drive-thru services through March 31 3/17/20
Kentucky dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through March 3/16/20
Louisiana dine-in options at restaurants; all bars closed takeout and delivery at restaurants through April 13 3/16/20
Maryland dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout, delivery, and drive-thru services 3/16/20
Massachusetts dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through April 5 3/17/20
Michigan dine-in options at bars and restaurants delivery, walk-up windows, drive-through, or drive-up service. 3/16/20
Minnesota dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through at least March 27 3/17/20
Nevada dine-in options at restaurants and bars takeout, delivery, and drive-thru 3/18/20
New Jersey dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery "until further notice" 3/16/20
New York dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery 3/16/20
North Carolina dine-in options at restaurants and bars takeout, delivery, and drive-thru 3/17/20
Ohio dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery 3/15/20
Oregon dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery at least April 14 3/17/20
Pennsylvania dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery 3/16/20
Rhode Island dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through March 30 3/16/20
South Carolina dine-in options at restaurants and bars takeout, delivery, and drive-thru through March 3/18/20
Texas dine-in options at restaurants and bars takeout, delivery, and drive-thru through April 3 3/19/20
Virginia restaurant occupancy limited to 10 people limited restaurant capacity, takeout and delivery strongly encouraged 3/17/20
Washington dine-in options at restaurants and bars takeout, delivery, and drive-thru services through March 31 3/16/20
Wisconsin dine-in options at restaurants and bars takeout, delivery, and drive-thru 3/17/20

Cities with imposed restaurant shutdowns

City What's affected What's allowed Projected timeframe Effective date
City What's affected What's allowed Projected timeframe Effective date
Atlanta dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery TBD 3/19/20
Austin dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through May 1 3/17/20
Dallas dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery "until futher notice" 3/16/20
Fort Worth restaurant capacity limited to 50% of normal capacity-reduced dining rooms; takeout, delivery are encouraged TBD 3/17/20
Houston dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through March 31 3/17/20
Miami dine-in options at bars and restaurants takeout, drive-through, drive-in, and delivery services "until futher notice" 3/17/20
Phoenix dine-in options at restaurants; bars closed takeout, delivery, and drive-thru service TBD 3/17/20
Washington D.C. table seating at bars and restaurants takeout and delivery through April 1 3/16/20

Top Infectious Disease Expert Doesn’t Rule Out Supporting Temporary National Lockdown to Combat Coronavirus [CNN]
Ohio Governor Orders All Bars and Restaurants Be Shut Down Amid Coronavirus Pandemic [WEWS News]
All Coronavirus Coverage [E]

This post will be updated as new information becomes available. It was last updated at 1:59 p.m. EST, Thursday, March 19.

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