RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Health shut down several Richmond restaurants and bars for not following COVID-19 rules. Seven businesses had their permits suspended last week, but many of them are already back up and running.
Main Stage on N. 5th Street, Daddy Rabbit’s on Broad Rock Boulevard, City Beach on W. Cary Street, Good Tymes on Chamberlayne Avenue, Siné on E. Cary Street, La Caverna on Hull Street Road and Escapate Lounge and Bar on Hull Street road all had their permits suspended last week, according to the Richmond and Henrico Health District.
Most of the suspensions happen for violating Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive orders mandating face coverings or other phase three guidelines, according to Olivia McCormick, acting director of the division of food and general environmental services for VDH.
McCormick said VDH has received more than 35,000 complaints from the public via their online form to report violations at businesses.
“If we receive a lot of complaints about a facility, our primary effort is really to focus on education, which may be a visit or may be a phone call,” McCormick said.
An immediate permit suspension happens when VDH visits a facility and “observes immediate and acute health hazards,” she added.
That suspension means the food establishment cannot operate.
In Richmond, several of the businesses which had their permits revoked have already reopened, like Siné. A manager told 8News Monday they thought they were doing everything right, but made immediate changes to be in compliance.
City Beach and Daddy Rabbit’s both had signs up Monday saying they are closed to make changes.
“Temporarily closed while we renovate to be in compliance with governor executive orders for COVID-19,” the sign on City Beach’s door read.
McCormick said the restaurants typically fix the issues and reopen within a matter of days or sooner. “The local health director has the ability to end the suspension at any time and that can be after conference after environmental health professionals working in that district,” said McCormick.
Statewide, VDH has suspended permits at more than 25 establishments.