Bars, restaurants in Vermont react to state’s tighter COVID-19 restrictions

Bars and restaurants reacted on social media over the weekend to the state’s announcement Friday of further restrictions related to COVID-19.

More:Governor announces sweeping restrictions as Vermont nears COVID ‘tipping point’

The state ordered bars to shut down to all but takeout orders, curbside pickup and delivery as a result of increasing COVID numbers statewide. Comments from bars and restaurants ran the gamut from places shutting down to changing hours to going to takeout only to staying open. Here’s a roundup of some of those reactions:

The inside of Kru Coffee, new coffee shop opened on Church Street

Takeout only

Kru Coffee in Burlington posted that as of Saturday it would only be offering takeout service. “We apologize for any inconvenience but we are just trying to do our part to get our beautiful city, state and country back to normal sooner than later,” the post read.

Another coffee shop, the recently opened Uncommon Coffee in Essex, is ending in-person ordering for now and only allowing ordering online or by phone. 

More:Uncommon Coffee keeps Uncommon Grounds spirit alive in Essex, with new twists

“As a new business, we really appreciate your support during this difficult time,” according to the post. “We look forward to a day when we can serve you in-person, and we hope you’ll stick with us until then!”

The Black Krim Tavern in Randolph posted that it will “take a pause” on indoor dining, relaunch its takeout dining Nov. 18 and open a retail shop Nov. 22. 

“I understand the fatigue that is buzzing around our communities of keeping distance and making healthy decisions,” the Black Krim post reads. “It is very tiresome indeed. Lets focus on the importance of keeping our communities safe and look towards the future when we can thoroughly enjoy each other in all social settings.”

More:What you need to know about Vermont’s COVID-related restrictions and the impact on holiday travel

A new Burlington business, Elaichi Indian Restaurant & Bar, posted that it closed indoor dining Sunday “out of an abundance of caution. We encourage you to place takeout orders online at eliachi.co.”

More:Elaichi Indian Restaurant & Bar brings variety of flavors to Burlington

Priyank Shah, left, and Sikander Badhan, co-owners of Elaichi Indian Restaurant & Bar, stand in the Burlington business Oct. 19, 2020.

Keeping indoor dining

Black Flannel Brewing Co. opened its brewery/restaurant/distillery this year, and posted Saturday that from the beginning, “our staff have implemented COVID-safe best practices to ensure the safety of our staff and guests.”

More:Brewery/distillery/restaurant the latest entertainment offering at Essex Experience

With that in mind, the Essex business plans to continue socially distant indoor dining. “We have the luxury of space,” according to the post. “Indoor tables are far apart, and our brand new HVAC system was designed to ensure the best quality ventilation during the pandemic.”

Some Vermont restaurants are changing hours

A new restaurant in Barre, The Meltdown, changed its hours only three months after opening its grilled-cheese-themed eatery. The business shortened its hours by an hour at each end on Thursday and Friday to 4-8 p.m. Saturday’s hours remain the same and Sunday’s have been expanded to that span of 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday lost an hour at the start of the day and is shortened to 4-8 p.m.

The Facebook post noted that indoor dining and takeout are still available, and a patio with heaters (“so cozy”) is available.

The Meltdown in Barre, shown Nov. 12, 2020.

Shutting down temporarily

Red Square, the long-running bar on the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, announced its temporary closure Sunday.

“It’s been amazing to see how strong and resilient Vermont has been for that last 8 months,” the post reads. “However, in compliance with Governor Scott’s new mandate that all Vermont bars and social clubs must close in-person service by 10pm tomorrow evening, we have made the decision that in the interest of public safety and that of our employees we have shut our doors starting immediately.”

Red Square said, with the vagueness required in the uncertain times of a pandemic, that “we hope to see you again in the foreseeable future.”

Another Burlington night spot, the Daily Planet restaurant, also announced its temporary shutdown Sunday.

More:Daily Planet, long a favorite downtown Burlington restaurant/bar, reborn under new owner

“Hi friends,” the post reads. “With COVID cases on the rise across the state, we’ve made the tough decision to temporarily close our doors beginning tonight (Sunday). We plan to reassess later in the week and will of course keep you updated.”

The Three Penny Taproom, a bar and restaurant in Montpelier, announced that it’s shutting down Monday and Tuesday to “give our team a head start on what’s next by strategising and organising,” according to its social-media posts.

“‘Abundance of caution’ should be your mantra right now, it’s been ours,” the posts read. “So, with that said, we’ll see you Wednesday in one fashion or another. The whole country is looking at Vermont right now as a state, a system of communities, that did so well with this. Let’s all do our parts and show what Vermont can do.”

Uncertain future

The Archives bar and video arcade in Burlington posted Friday evening that “has been a difficult day for everyone in our local industry, While we understand the need for additional safety measures, our immediate future is unclear.”

The post asked patrons to consider their staff, who like other bar employees have been among the “hardest hit by the financial aspects of this crisis.” The Archives also asked people to lobby their representatives in Congress for financial help for bars and restaurants.

“Our industry faces an existential crisis and many independent bars and restaurants are on the brink of collapse. Simply put, we need your help,” according to the post. “If you don’t want to see independent bars and restaurants closed forever, it is imperative that you join us in asking Congress to approve this much needed assistance.”

Contact Brent Hallenbeck at bhallenbeck@freepressmedia.com. Follow Brent on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrentHallenbeck.