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Memphis restaurants close as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 7:48 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Several local restaurants are closed during the Christmas holiday as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the Mid-South.

Restaurants, including the Gray Canary, the Second Line, and Panta Memphis posted to social media, letting patrons know they would be closed for the week out of an abundance of caution.

Mike Miller is the owner of Patrick’s Memphis and the President of the Memphis Restaurant Association.

“We are kind of taking a wait and see attitude. Certainly, if something comes up, we’ll address it appropriately within our operation. But that seems to be the attitude of most of the folks that I’ve talked with,” Miller said.

His restaurant hasn’t been affected by COVID-19 cases this holiday season, but he says having to close during the holidays is a hard hit.

“It’s just been very, very difficult to deal with the shutdowns, the restrictions, the returning to normal, but then not being able to get staff and struggling to get products,” Miller said.

The Shelby County Health Department reported a spike in cases Thursday with 776 newly confirmed cases and seven additional deaths countywide.

Pediatric cases also increased by 193.

Infectious disease experts advise people not to let their guard down, especially during the holidays, and to get vaccinated if they haven’t done so.

Despite the unknown, Miller says restaurant owners in Memphis are a resilient bunch, and they are choosing to stay positive.

“I think everybody is trying to stay positive here, look to the future that, that we can continue to get towards more normal. We all understand that our numbers are going up currently. And we’ll see what the effects of the omicron variant are on us,” Miller said.

The Gray Canary will reopen on December 29.

Second Line and Panta Memphis are closed for the remainder of this week.

If you’d like to support the restaurants while they’re closed, you can purchase virtual cooking classes or Tasting and Cocktails here.

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