June 26, 2022

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Charlotte businesses face challenges, temporary closures

“We’re only going to get through this quickly if we can all just really, really work responsibly towards, you know, putting this to rest.”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As COVID-19 cases continue to trend in the wrong direction in North Carolina, several businesses across Charlotte are closing their doors temporarily.

The 704 Shop announced on social media, “After careful consideration, we are closing our South End store for in-person shopping effective immediately. Thankfully, our staff has remained healthy throughout the year and this is a preventative measure versus a reactive one.”

The business went on to add, “…given the sharp rises in Covid-19 cases and our deep passion for our staff, we refuse to put profit over our people. Furthermore, we care too much for our community to put more people at risk, regardless of what it means for us as business.”

Christopher Moxley, co-owner of the 704 Shop, said the storefront brings in a lot of foot traffic, and this would have typically been one of their busiest times of the year with holiday shopping in full swing.

The storefront was only allowing 10 people inside at a time, Moxley said, but they wanted to minimize crowds to keep employees and customers safe.

“The worst thing that is, you know, one of our employees, you know, gets sick with COVID as a result of being in the store,” Moxley said. “And then there’s the logistical concerns of having to deal with that, right?”

The 704 Shop is still offering curbside pick-up for items and online shopping.

“We felt like that was the best case, you know, the best solution to where everybody wins,” Moxley added, “and we keep our employees safe and out of harm’s way.”

Town Brewing Company decided to close over the weekend after a member of its staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Town Brewing Company’s announcement said on Facebook, “This employee last worked Friday and had minimal interaction with customers, but does work closely with our staff members. Out of concern for the safety and health our staff and patrons, we have decided to close the taproom temporarily for deep cleaning and sanitization, and to test our staff for COVID-19.”

In recent days, Thomas Street Tavern, Gin Mill, The Workman’s Friend, and The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery also announced temporary closures after an employee or staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Multiple Charlotte bars forced to temporarily close due to positive COVID-19 cases

“Especially with how the numbers have been trending in North Carolina, it’s probably just going to keep on getting more and more common,” Quinn said.

There is no reopening date yet for Town Brewing Company. Quinn said the brewery has been consulting with health officials for best practices.

“Gotta take it seriously,” Quinn said. “This is, you know, we’re only going to get through this quickly if we can all just really, really work responsibly towards, you know, putting this to rest.”

The closures come as North Carolina hit a new record high for hospitalizations Monday. Some business owners are now wondering if added restrictions will follow.

“We’ll see what the Governor does this week,” said Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris. “That will help determine whether we need to do anything more extensive in Mecklenburg County.”

Harris said she appreciates the businesses that have done their part by proactively shutting down, but not everyone is following the rules.

“The challenges are—we continue to have a few outliers that are not complying,” Harris said. “They’re not enforcing wearing masks.” 

South End bar Lost & Found announced a temporary closure on Monday. The business posted on its Facebook page that it will have to lay off staff once again and faced challenges regarding capacity restrictions and masks.

RELATED: Lost and Found Charlotte to close until further notice due to COVID-19

The Facebook post from Lost & Found said, “This decision was not easy, being threatened by the state to be put in jail or have my liquor license taken are very serious things to consider and unfortunately not worth the risk.”