In the past few days, 9 restaurants in D.C. have either closed temporarily or shifted to takeout only as COVID-19 cases climb.
The restaurant Thip Khao on 14th Street NW had to shut down Friday and Saturday. The owner said a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, despite being boosted.
“Our number one priority is our team and then also the guests too, but just want to make sure we’re taking the necessary steps,” co-owner Boby Pradachith said.
His business is far from the only one having to make that call.
Morgan Stana and Thea Merl own the wine shop Nido in Mt. Pleasant. They just recently opened, but are now canceling indoor dining.
“We had to make a tough decision,” Thea Merl said.
They said it doesn’t feel safe with the current case numbers.
“It’s definitely tough being new and always having to sort of pivot into the next thing. I hope soon I never hear the word 'pivot' again," Stana said.
Merl and Stana wish D.C. would bring back the indoor mask mandate that was lifted last month.
Some people added that they no longer feel comfortable eating inside.
“It seems like a lot more of my friends have been testing positive for Covid, so just to be on the safe side, I’ve been eating... outside,” one diner said.
Back at Thip Khao, staff said they’re also facing another challenge: mass cancellations because of customers getting COVID-19.
“To say that we’re still around, we’re very lucky and very fortunate, because obviously it’s been very hard,” Pradachith said.