CINCINNATI — The owner of several prominent Cincinnati-area restaurants and bars has decided to close all of those locations until February due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That includes Senate, Pontiac BBQ, Abigail Street, Forty Thieves and Holiday Spirits, which will all host their last days on Saturday, Nov. 28.
In a Facebook update Tuesday evening, restaurateur Daniel Wright said the past eight months have been especially taxing for his staff working through the stress brought on by the pandemic.
"When we reopened early this year we honestly hoped for the best and desperately wanted to believe the worst was behind us," he wrote. "We heard all about a future surge but had hoped that our fellow humans had the sense to wear their damn masks, to socially distance and to look out for one another. I think it’s pretty clear that some did not and still refuse to."
With COVID-19 cases "surging out of control" and with a "lack of any leadership" from government officials, Wright said, the restaurants will close until next year.
"We have decided that we need to take matters into our own hands and do what is best for our staff and our businesses. In doing so, Lana and I have made the tough decision to close all of our businesses until February," he said.
Patrons can still show support by dining in or ordering carry-out through Saturday, and 100% of any gift card or book sales will go directly to their staff.
"We know that there is hope around the corner. We know things won’t always be like this," Wright said. "We know that all of our brothers and sisters in the hospitality industry didn’t sign up for this. We want to provide a great work environment, a safe work environment for our people for the next 10 years and not just suffer through the next 10 weeks."
Wright previously closed his Over-the-Rhine locations in June for mandatory COVID-19 testing after an employee tested positive for the virus. Those restaurants reopened a short time later.