Coronavirus

Restaurants and Bars in the Phoenix Area Are Beginning to Close Due to COVID-19 ... Again

Many Phoenix-area eateries are returning to takeout and delivery models, including Chelsea's Kitchen.
Many Phoenix-area eateries are returning to takeout and delivery models, including Chelsea's Kitchen. Jacob Tyler Dunn
In mid-March, we began to report on Valley restaurants closing their dining rooms because of the coronavirus.

Three months later, here we go again.

Though many restaurant owners have made it apparent they will not be reopening until case numbers see a decline, others in metropolitan Phoenix have reopened with an abundance of safety precautions. For some, the decision of when to open was extremely difficult.

click to enlarge Zipps Sports Grill in Arcadia. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Zipps Sports Grill in Arcadia.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Starting in late May, and continuing through this past weekend, reports of food industry workers testing positive for coronavirus have picked up speed. Some of those reports have come in the form of official statements from restaurant groups and their spokespeople, while others have been made by employees via social media.


Many restaurants have now re-closed in-house dining as a result.

That includes The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe and SanTan Brewing Co. in Chandler. A slew of Arcadia-area eateries — Zipps Sports Grill, Chelsea’s Kitchen, Hash Kitchen, The Porch — have also closed back down.

And the posts keep coming. Some places are fully closed, others are regressing back to takeout and delivery only.

Crust Simply Italian Scottsdale, Aioli Gourmet Burgers, and Chzburger in Glendale are all back to curbside only.

The Dirty Drummer resumed dine-in service on June 8 but closed for one day on June 16 to get the entire staff tested as a precaution.

click to enlarge The Ostrich and Crust Simply Italian have, for now, re-closed dining spaces in downtown Chandler. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
The Ostrich and Crust Simply Italian have, for now, re-closed dining spaces in downtown Chandler.
Lauren Cusimano
We informally reviewed Jupiter Rings Wings and More on Monday, but since then owner Jason Higgins has closed the eatery through June 19 to organize extra safety training for his staff.

Restaurants are also making announcements, again through social media and spokespeople, that face masks will now be required on the premises. Those include Whyld Ass Cafe, where a mask is required to pick up food, wait for and order, and to choose pastries. And all LGO Hospitality eateries — La Grande Orange Grocery & Pizzeria, Ingo’s Tasty Food, Cake Shop, and Buck &Rider — require a mask to dine in.

Again, this follows national news of Arizona’s COVID-19 cases increasing drastically. Our infection rate has now surpassed that of New York.

Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano