Permits suspended at Richmond restaurants for violating COVID-19 safety measures

Permits suspended at Richmond restaurants for violating COVID-19 safety measures

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - There’s a warning for Virginia restaurants coming from health officials: Make sure you’re following COVID-19 guidelines or you will be shut down.

The Richmond Health Department has already pulled business licenses for half a dozen establishments.

“Temporarily closed while we renovate to be in compliance with Governor executive orders for COVID-19,” City Beach on W. Cary Street posted on Facebook Thursday. They’re not alone.

These are the locations with suspended permits:

  • Daddy Rabbits, located at 3206 Broad Rock Blvd
  • City Beach, located at 2416 West Cary Street
  • La Caverna, located at 5310 Hull Street Rd
  • Good Tymes, located at 2030 1/2 Chamberlayne
  • Main Stage, located at 112 North 5th Street
  • Escapate Lounge & Bar, located at 5735 Hull Street Road
  • Siné Irish Pub, located at 1327 East Cary Street

The owner of Good Tymes said they are working to follow CDC and local health guidelines and released the following statement:

"Good Tymes values their staff and loyal customers. After 3 years of being in business, we have learned this industry isn’t for the faint of heart. The pandemic has presented new and uniques challenges for all business owners, especially restaurant owners.

In these unprecedented times, we are working daily to adhere to CDC and local guidelines. We have been reinspection and open for business.  Join us Sunday for brunch 1-5″

NBC12 crews found markers on the ground Thursday at Good Tymes, notifying people who show up to stand 6-feet apart while waiting outside. This is what the health department wants to see in place and enforced.

“Employees aren’t consistently wearing masks. When our inspectors have gone in at different times of the day, they’ve seen large crowds gathered. There’s not enough effort being made to separate individuals and maintain distance between groups. Many of the places we go into continue to serve from the bar,” said Richmond Health Director Dr. Danny Avula.

Avula says the health department received thousands of tips. They partnered with law enforcement and made some surprise visits. He says first, they issued warnings but after repeat violations, they suspended business licenses.

“What we want is for the restaurant to come back with a written corrective action plan. We’ll review that plan together and if it seems like they’re making every effort to comply, then we’ll lift the suspension and they’ll be able to go right back to business,” Avula added.

NBC12 reached out to every business on the list and only heard back from Good Tymes and Main Stage.

The health department says it isn’t trying to shut these places down, it just wants customers to be safe when they dine out.

Health officials said permits are suspended when there is “an immediate and acute public health threat, and is effective immediately.”

Owners and operators can request a conference with the health department to discuss the steps needed to get the permit reinstated.

Health directors can also end the suspension at any time if the business indicates that measures will be taken to prevent threats to public health.

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