The tiny island enclave of Coronado is being hit this week with a wave of coronavirus-related restaurant news.
The eateries involved are the Henry, McP's Irish Pub and the High Tide Bottle Shop and Kitchen, all located on the main drag of Orange Avenue. In fact, the Henry and McP's are only separated by a single block.
Confirmation of the coronavirus exposure came via Facebook for all of the businesses, the first case of which apparently occurred last week at the Henry.
A restaurant spokesperson said the Henry learned of its first positive case among employees on Friday, July 3 and closed the restaurant that day. However, they reopened to customers the next day, which didn't go over well with some on the island.
"Coronado neighbors, we apologize for not being more transparent with you about our first COVID positive case last week," the Henry posted on the Coronado Happenings FB page on Monday, adding, "[we] went through our entire protocol for a COVID exposure the night after we became aware one of our employees was COVID-positive. This includes third-party sanitation of the restaurant, contacting all employees before they returned to work to make sure we knew who had CDC-defined exposure to the COVID employee and making sure all employees had access to testing at our cost, regardless of exposure."
Then, management became aware of a second case at the Henry, which typically offers classic American fare of burgers and salads, and on Monday night notified the health department, which had earlier urged voluntary notification of the public.
"The employee in this second case was last in the restaurant on Thursday, July 2," the Henry posted. "We are closing the restaurant early this evening and will be proceeding with sanitation and employee contacts. This time, we do not expect to be able to complete all of these procedures before our regular opening tomorrow. The Henry will be closed until we can go through our protocols…."
The High Tide pizza shop had bad news to share on Facebook on Monday as well:
Frankie Kennedy and his dad Jack were disappointed but appreciative to read High Tide's announcement.
“[The closure] doesn’t surprise me and, you know, I think they're being responsible given the environment that we’re in. There's a lot of older customers here. There's a lot of high risk people in Coronado," Kennedy said.
Owner Tom Latona is self quarantining as a precaution and is offering to cover coronavirus tests for all of his employees. He expects the restaurant to be closed for at least a week.
“We got some great responses from the community that we were being honest and open for them, and we are trying to do what's best for our staff, and for the customers at that matter," Latona said.
Then, on Tuesday morning, news came from McP's, servers of both Guinness and standard Irish pub fare:
All the restaurants offer outdoor dining -- though in a limited capacity at the High Tide Bottle Shop -- so Coronado residents and visitors can hopefully expect to see them reopened later this week in some capacity.
All the restaurants, of course, are challenged by the pandemic and are, understandably, hoping for better days.
"These are challenging times," the Henry posted. "We are learning how to do this better each day. Thank you for making us better. We hope to regain your trust and serve you again soon."