Recently opened Roman restaurant Maialino Mare and rooftop bar Anchovy Social are closed in Navy Yard until further notice, following the lead of their New York City siblings within the acclaimed Union Square Hospitality Group that are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As of early Friday evening, the two venue inside the Thompson hotel were the only D.C. area restaurants Eater knew of to close their doors in response to public health concerns over COVID-19.
From independent businesses to members of the city’s largest hospitality groups, local restaurants across the area have touted the steps they’re taking to ramp up sanitization efforts, free up space between tables, and expand delivery and take-home operations while they prepare for a precipitous dip in business.
Yesterday in NYC, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio mandated that all of the city’s venues seating 500 people or less have to reduce capacity by 50 percent (starting 5 p.m. Friday). In a press briefing late Friday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city was prohibiting gatherings of 250 people or more, which would include banquet halls attached to high-capacity restaurants.
As of Friday, D.C. officials had only reported 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19, compared to 95 in New York City.
Restaurateur Danny Meyer released the following statement Friday evening:
“We are living in uncharted territory with no preexisting roadmap or compass except for how we do business: nothing matters more than the safety and health of our team members, guests, and the communities in which we do business. With all that we now know about Federal, State, and City-wide mandates, as well as the science that has provided evidence urging everyone to reduce non-essential social contact, we have made the difficult, but for us, obvious decision to temporarily close our restaurants.
For those of us who find our purpose and passion in bringing people together in a spirit of healing, it is nearly unfathomable to confront the reality that the very thing at which we thrive could in these times be a threat to the health and safety of our community. This decision brings with it very real sacrifices for our team, but I feel it is necessary that USHG do our part to prevent the spread of this pandemic. By fully facing this storm today, we all hope to return to serving our community sooner than later.”
Maialino Mare opened in early January, marking famous restaurateur Meyer’s first full-service foray into D.C. The seafood-focused sister to New York’s Maialino serves trattoria fare like roasted pigs and a skate wing Milanese. Anchovy Social opened a few weeks later with rooftop spritzes, seafood towers, and grandma-style personal pizzas.
Another high-profile NYC restaurateur, French chef Daniel Boulud, also made the tough call to “indefinitely” shutter locations after dinner service on Friday night, reports The New York Times. Temporary closures include Boulud’s 6-year-old DBGB DC in CityCenter DC, as well his prolific portfolio across Manhattan.
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Today I made the most challenging and emotional decision as a chef-restaurateur, and all for the well-being of my restaurant family. As a company, we are rooted in the principles of commitment and responsibility, and that remains so as we head into this challenging time. With growing concerns over the rapidly evolving COVID-19, we have made the decision today to temporarily close our New York City and Washington DC restaurants as a safety precaution for our staff and customers. When it becomes safe to re-open, we all very much look forward to welcoming back our loyal customers and friends to @restaurantdaniel @cafebouludny @bouludsud @barbouludny @dbbistrony @epicerieboulud @dbgbdc @feastandfetes #staysafe #stayhealthy #staypositive This shall pass soon. We hope and pray for a better world.