Dozens of Oklahoma businesses — notably restaurants and bars — are temporarily closing or scaling back their operations due to infections among staff members or concerns over the recent spike of coronavirus cases in the state.
Oklahoma City businesses closing down due to a staff member or recent guest testing postive for COVID-19 include Social Capital, The Pump Bar, Sunnyside Diner (Edmond location), Bellini's Ristorante & Grill, HiLo Club, Lost Highway Bar, Tamashii Ramen, Red Primesteak, The Press and Blue Seven.
KOCO's Zach Rael is keeping a running list of OKC businesses closing here.
Like many, Blue Seven said it was an agonizing decision.
"...Last weekend was just so sweet and we have been eager to see your beautiful faces...not to mention that it was a financial boost that we have desperately needed," the business stated on Instagram. "However, in the end we know that the best thing to do is to be safe and not open this weekend."
Others, like restaurants Picasso Cafe and OSO in Oklahoma's City Paseo District, are closing dining service and offering patio dining and curbside takeout only, "in light of the increasing COVID-19 counts and irresponsible mass gatherings in neighboring communities."
Announcing the closure of their dine-in service, The Red Cup in Oklahoma City noted a rise of COVID-19 infections in staff members at local restaurants. They are requesting those that 'to go' orders wear a mask when doing so.
In Tulsa, The Starlite bar closed recently after being open for just more than two weeks. Owner Lynn Robertson told KJRH the rise of COVID-19 cases worried her, so they shut down. "Now is not the time to relax," Robertson said.
Mercury Lounge in Tulsa is scaling back their capacity and hours of operation due to the rise of cases in Tulsa. In a post, the bar stated, "Right now it’s clear we have to remain able to pivot and make the best and safest call on behalf of the staff, bands and patrons."
Rural areas of the state are also reporting closures. Burrito Grill in Blanchard closed last week after finding out a customer tested positive for COVID-19. On Saturday, FireLake Casino in Shawnee announced they would be closed until further notice.
Since the beginning of June, there have been more than 6,500 cases of the virus reported in Oklahoma. That’s more than double what the state reported in March, April and May combined.
Earlier this month, the Original Hideaway Pizza location in Stillwater closed temporarily after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. Red Rock Bakery & Deli in Stillwater did the same after people in their restaurant came in contact with someone testing positive. Eskimo Joe's also had an employee test positive, but opted to follow local health department protocols over closing.