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Second set of closings for Augusta businesses following COVID-19 spike

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 6:20 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - While multiple chain stores across the nation are starting to require masks, many of our local businesses are having to make an even tougher decision: to stay open or close.

Some have already been forced to close, including Whiskey Bar and the Southbound in Augusta.

Downtown, one after another, businesses are beginning to close their doors for the second time around. A sign sits on the door of Soul Bar, saying, the building is closed and will reopen when it feels safe to do so.

For some businesses, it feels a lot like déjà vu to the start of the pandemic, but closing this time around hurts even more.

“I was unemployed when the first shutdown happened and then luckily, I came here, and they started taking care of me,” Charlotte Carr, a worker at Soul Bar, said. “Now that we have to shut down again, it hits a little close to home, but at the same I would want to put everyone’s health above everything else and making money.”

Soul Bar is only on the growing list of more than 10 businesses temporarily locking its doors.

“We were just really worried about people getting sick, and we don’t want to be the reason somebody gets sick and nobody should be the reason I get sick, so it’s really just for everyone’s best interest,” Carr said.

Some places like Southbound Smokehouse and Nacho Mama’s are closing due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the area.

Others like Joe’s Underground and Allie Katz are closing while they test all employees. More like Mi Rancho and Laziza Mediterranean closing after an employee tested positive.

For those who stay open and those like Soul Bar who hope to reopen soon, cleaning and safety is a top priority.

“I clean all the liquor bottles in between, all the bartenders, we clean all the pens and surfaces of the bar. All the cups get sanitized,” Carr said.

Over in South Carolina, businesses like Aiken Fish House, are taking a safety pledge under the Palmetto Priority Seal. They must pass an inspection by DHEC and go through special training with Servsafe.

Those who are approved by the Restaurant and Lodging Association get a seal of approval. Today, more than 2,200 restaurants in the state have been approved, 39 of which are in Aiken.

If you've heard of any businesses, bars or restaurants that have recently closed again, reach out out to News 12.

Here’s a list of the businesses we have verified that will be temporarily closing:

  • The Soul Bar
  • Whiskey Bar
  • Nacho Mama’s
  • Southbound Smokehouse Central *the North Augusta location is still open
  • Joe’s Underground
  • Firehouse Bar
  • Maryland Fried Chicken
  • Mi Rancho Mexican Restaurant on Washington Road
  • Laziza Mediterranean Grill
  • Jackie M’s and Son
  • Allie Katz
  • Top Crab Seafood

If you want to check out if a restaurant in South Carolina has the Palmetto Seal, visit here.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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