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2 restaurants, cocktail lounge in Asbury Park temporarily close after employee contracts COVID-19

Two restaurants and a cocktail lounge in Asbury Park have temporarily closed because an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Nov 13, 2020, 12:46 AM

Updated 1,312 days ago

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Two restaurants and a cocktail lounge in Asbury Park have temporarily closed because an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
Cleaning crews made their rounds at Reyla, LayLow and Barrio Costero, which are owned by Chris Viola, of the Culture Collective restaurant group. Viola immediately posted on all social media pages about the situation at the locations. It earned him praise from city leaders.
“I think the leadership we are seeing from Barrio is the leadership we want to see throughout New Jersey,” says Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn.
Viola says that the community has come out to support the restaurants during this time.
“Unbelievably supportive beyond our imagination, in terms of how supportive our guests have been,” says Viola. “From emails, comments on Instagram, Facebook. Just really appreciative of the support we’ve received.”
The deputy mayor says that the transparency is worthy of the support.
“It’s really commendable. They came forward. They were up front. They clearly put their guests first and came out with an employee tested positive and the way we reward them is to support them when they reopen. We buy their spicy margaritas. We get dinner here or to go,” Quinn says.
Viola partnered with a local urgent care center and mandated every employee get tested. If results come back favorably, the restaurants will reopen on Saturday, under the new restrictions put into effect by Gov. Phil Murphy.
“I think we are working in an environment where nobody really knows the answers and we are trying to make our best guess and decisions based on the data we have,” Viola says. “I don't think it's a target, I think it's just trying to make it a safe environment for everyone.”
Viola says that his goal is to survive and stay open through the winter and spring.


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