CLEVELAND — Despite restaurants in Ohio being permitted to stay open for take-out, many are finding it necessary to close their doors due to COVID-19 coronavirus, and now that includes the Winking Lizard Tavern.
The tavern announced on Facebook that it will close all locations at the end of business on Saturday, for the time being, because they owner say it is what is best for their employees following President Donald Trump signing a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package into effect on Friday.
The owners stressed that they plan to reopen as soon as possible, with full service, pending government permission.
In a heartfelt post shared on Friday, the owners wrote:
"The passage of the historic CARES ACT has altered our industry in an unprecedented way in respect to work/employment of our loyal and dedicated staff members at all levels.
"It is now apparent that our staff members, in most if not all situations, would be better off financially by taking advantage of all of the benefits afforded to them under the new legislation, rather than continuing to work at the Lizard during this mandated quarantine time.
"This will not allow us to properly staff our stores and continue to provide quality service to our guests at this time.
We want our staff members to do what is best for them and their families throughout all of this. It is in the best interest for the Lizard and our staff if the Lizard would cease operations at this time."
All locations except those at the Gateway and Galleria Malls, in Grandview Haneights and Westerville will remain open for take-out from 3-9 p.m., but then that's it.
In a second post, the restaurant included a reminder that Tour beers are available for carry out, and they are offering discounts on domestic bottled beers.
"If you ordered a #lizardnation shirt in support of our employees, those will be available at your requested pick up location," the post read.
But a word of warning was also included.
"If shirt orders were placed this week, those might not be in yet and you will be able to pick up once we open back up," the company said.