Decatur, Georgia, becomes the latest Atlanta area city to close its bars and limit restaurants to takeout only effective immediately, Decaturish first reported. The move came on Thursday afternoon from Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The small city, just east of Atlanta, has become a popular dining destination over the last decade, and is home to several restaurants frequently listed on “best of” lists. This includes Kimball House, which is up for “Outstanding Bar Program” at this year’s James Beard awards.
Garrett issued a “Public Health Emergency Order” prohibiting dine-in service at restaurants, while still allowing for takeout and delivery between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The order also provides provisions for the sale of “off-premises consumption [of alcohol] in sealed containers” for restaurants with current alcohol licenses with the city.
Earlier today, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ordered the closure of bars and limited restaurants to takeout only within the city limits. As in Decatur, most Atlanta restaurants and bars have already voluntarily closed dining room service and transitioned to takeout and delivery or closed altogether to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Georgia House District 89 Representative Bee Nguyen is currently working with the Georgia Restaurant Association to provide provisions for Bottoms to allow Atlanta restaurants to sell unopened beer and wine via a “simple beer and wine package license.”
25 states across the country have mandated closures of restaurant dining rooms. Atlanta is now one of eight major cities to order such closures, joining Miami, Austin, Dallas, Forth Worth, Houston, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. Earlier this week, Brookhaven and Dunwoody closed bars and suspended dine-in service at restaurants. On Wednesday, the city of South Fulton imposed a public curfew between 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.
NOTE: The novel coronavirus situation in Georgia is fluid and ongoing. Follow Eater Atlanta for continuing coverage on COVID-19’s impact on Atlanta’s restaurant industry. Additional stories are forthcoming.
Check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for further guidance and updates on COVID-19.