Recent restaurant closures could point to a bigger problem in Greenville

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Restaurants in downtown Greenville continue to take precautions to keep their customers safe. However, some have had to temporarily close, and the city says it actually points to a bigger problem.

People are back to enjoying their favorite restaurants at a safe distance.

“They have us spread out pretty good or sitting outside and stuff so I haven’t noticed a problem. I think that it’s been OK,” Amber Marquez said.

But some spots have taken a step backward.

“Why aren’t more folks wearing a mask, why are some folks so comfortable being face to face again? We realize that our community has relaxed,” city spokesperson Beth Brotherton said.

Urban Wren Winery, Barley’s Taproom, On the Roxx, and Jianna all closed temporarily after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Brotherton says overall, restaurants have been doing a good job with the reopening.

“To sanitize frequently, monitor their employees health, limit capacity, social distance,” Brotherton said.

But, she said, the temporary closures point to a bigger problem.

She said everyone needs to do their part to social distance and wear masks in public. Otherwise, some businesses might not make it through the pandemic.

“You don’t know how many times can they survive this. I don’t think the economic impact of this has been fully realized yet,” Brotherton said. “If you want to see your kids go back to school in the fall, if you want to go to a college football game, if you want to see a live band or your favorite movie in the theaters–you have to wear a mask, you have to social distance. Otherwise, normal will not get here for a long time.”

On the Roxx says it hired a professional cleaning company and will start taking employees temperatures daily upon reopening. Potential customers we spoke to are happy with that.

“Just take the extra precaution for everybody because it’s not just one person you’re thinking about, it’s thinking about everyone around you,” Emily Wilson said.

“I think they should do that and do the deep cleaning, make sure that that employee does not come back, notify all other employees, and then get cleared for a reopen,” Marquez said.

We reached out to the other businesses effected, including Jianna which reopened Wednesday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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