CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Reported positive cases of COVID-19 among employees are forcing some Charlotte-area restaurant owners to make the decision to shut down temporarily amid the pandemic.
Jen Brulé, chef and owner of Davidson Ice House, announced on Facebook last week that she decided to close the restaurant for one week out of an abundance of caution after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Brulé said the employee had not worked a shift or been in the restaurant in 12 days.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department told her she didn’t have to close, but Brulé decided to shut down operations temporarily anyway to allow time for all employees to get tested.
"It's just really important that I do everything I can to keep people that I care about and the community at large safe,” Brulé said. "That’s really the bottom line for me.”
In the Facebook post, Brulé said she will take a significant financial hit by temporarily shutting down, but money seems trivial at this point.
"I wanted to close. I wanted to sterilize the restaurant,” Brulé said. “I wanted to get everyone tested including myself, and if I lose the revenue for a week, so be it."
While the restaurant is closed, Brulé said it will be cleaned and sanitized. All employees will be tested, and no one will be allowed back at work without the all-clear from a physician, Brulé added.
"Because of this COVID scare, we will actually open up with a clean bill of health, where other restaurants, maybe it's still in the unknown,” Brulé said.
The Loyalist Market in Matthews announced on its Facebook page on Sunday that a team member tested positive for COVID-19.
The founder wrote that the team member last worked on June 20 and did not have direct contact with any guests.
According to the Facebook post, the team with The Loyalist Market will be getting tested, and the shop will be closed through at least Thursday as they wait for results and disinfect.
Hathaways Fried Chicken in Monroe posted on its Facebook page on June 24 that a staff member received a positive COVID-19 test result.
According to the post, the staff member was asymptomatic and did not have any direct contact with guests.
The fried chicken restaurant announced on Facebook that it was reopening June 28 after sanitizing and disinfecting the space.
Chef Jen Brulé with Davidson Ice House said she encourages other restaurant owners to continue being transparent with their customers if there is a positive COVID-19 case within their establishment.
“We are all in this together, and we need to protect each other,” Brulé said.
Davidson Ice House is aiming to reopen Thursday, but it depends on when employees get their test results back.
"Hopefully for my business, people know that they can trust me,” Brulé added, “I'm going to do everything I can to keep them safe."