St. Louis restaurants are pushing against the new COVID-19 restrictions, which they believe are unfair and unnecessary.
Once this becomes clear, COVID-19 is not going to go away anytime soon. Many areas of the country where the virus appeared to be under control a few weeks ago are now debating new lockdowns and restrictions. In fact, some cities and counties, like St. Louis County, recently announced a series of new restrictions on their citizens, many of whom are growing tired of pandemic fatigue. As part of the new restrictions, St. Louis County has ordered “all restaurants must close their indoor dining services for four weeks.” However, unlike the first round of lockdowns in March and April, some business owners are pushing back. Earlier today, “more than 100 St. Louis County restaurants have decided to issue injunctions against the new COVID restrictions due to begin Tuesday.”
Closed shield; Image by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash, www.unsplash.com
Even if the dining rooms have to be closed, restaurants and bars can still dine outside, be picked up at the roadside and take away. But for an industry still grappling with the latest round of restrictions, the recent announcement is unacceptable to many St. Louis restaurant owners. One of the pushed back restaurants is Bartolino’s Restaurant. A Facebook post said it was planned to join other restaurants in suit. The facebook post said:
“We and other St. Louis County’s family-run restaurants don’t go quietly! You were there for us, we will be there for you! Sam Page’s overreach in arbitrarily closing indoor restaurants to county restaurants and bars is irresponsible.
The last few weeks of the year are consistently one of the most important times of the year for restaurant staff. Our employees are FAMILIES and Sam Page has been a direct contributor to their living. We have partnered with other local restaurants to file a lawsuit against Sam Page and plan to stay open to SAFE Indoor Dining. “
Other restaurant owners argue the restrictions are “unfair and could put them out of business”. Bartolino’s owner Mike Saracino said he was stunned when he received the news of the new restrictions. He added that he and others in the industry “find it unfair to ban indoor dining in St. Louis County when diners can go to St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson Counties.” He said alfresco dining was not a viable option for many restaurants as the weather was getting colder. To make matters worse, many in the industry are “concerned about the thousands of restaurant workers unable to get paid for PPE or additional unemployment as they did during the spring shutdown”.
St. Louis County is just one of many counties, cities, and states that are introducing new restrictions. Last week Chicago announced a new stay-at-home order, and just today, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced new restrictions on restaurants and bars, schools, sports, indoor and outdoor gatherings, and more.
“We will not go!” Bartolino’s Facebook post threatens lawsuit over new COVID-19 restrictions
Several restaurants are threatening to file lawsuits over COVID-19 restrictions in St. Louis County