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As Nashville’s COVID-19 Cases Surge, Some Restaurants Announce Temporary Closures and Pivots

Restaurants are switching to takeout shutting down dining rooms for the holidays as the nation braces for winter surge

A “Sorry, We’re Closed,” sign in a nondescript window Brittany Hollway-Brown/Eater

Joining restaurants and bars nationwide, multiple Nashville-area establishments have decided to once again preemptively close — or return to a takeout-only model — this week to mitigate the potential spread of the extremely contagious omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Cafe Roze has closed its dining room temporarily, with owner Julia Jaksic posting that the cozy East Nashville all-day cafe has shifted back to a takeout-only model “until we feel safe to open our doors again,” says Jaksic.

Church fellowship hall-turned standout restaurant Hathorne and Urban Cowboy Public House and its NY-import pizza pop-up Roberta’s decided to close temporarily as a precaution. Madison’s 1970s-meets-country dive Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge posted a sign on its door saying they will be closed through at least December 26 also as a precaution, while some places like Earnest were forced to close.

On the south side of town, go-to bakery Baked on 8th never reopened for walk-ins amid the pandemic, but owners say they will also close for walk-up orders during the 1.5-week holiday break.

After the first wave of closures, several others were quick to close temporarily as a precaution and due to staff shortages, including Lyra, the Twelve Thirty Club, Walden, and all of M Street’s restaurants.

This winter surge comes as BNA holiday travel has reached pre-pandemic levels and the city prepares for its larger-than-life country star-studded outdoor NYE celebration, which has yet to be canceled, and which Nashville mayor John Cooper vows will be handled as “safely as possible.” Cooper said that everyone entering the site of the celebration at Bicentennial Mall will be required to show proof of negative test or proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Update, Friday, December 24, 10:27 a.m. This article, originally published on Wednesday, December 22, 3:17 p.m., has been updated to include information from additional restaurants and bars impacted by COVID-19.