Local restaurant owners waiting to learn if SCHD will allow food to be served at bar areas

Watch: Local restaurant owners waiting to learn if SCHD will allow food to be served at bar areas

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Restaurant owners desperately want to find out if they’ll be able to serve food at their bars.

FOX13 first told you Wednesday that restaurant owners sent a letter to the health department basically begging the director to make changes in order to help their businesses.

RELATED: Locally owned restaurants send letter to SCHD urging for changes to be made for their survival

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The owner of Rizzo’s, Michael Patrick said there is no point in having his restaurant open if people can’t sit at the bar.

“To have six seats at this bar, just say they spend $50 with me, that’s an extra $300,” said Patrick.

His business is operating at 50 percent capacity like other restaurants, which he said isn’t helping his finances.

On Monday he had to shut his business down after an employee had COVID-like symptoms.

“It’s not going to close us down but it definitely puts us a step closer towards that other than a step away from that,” said Patrick.

Patrick and other restaurant owners signed a letter that asks the health department to make changes.

In the letter, the business owners ask for the SCHD to allow people to sit at the bar, have same-day testing and results for employees, along with other requests.

“In essence, we are frontline workers too. We expose yourself to the general public every day,” said Patrick.

The Health Department Director said she’s open to talking about things.

“I’m always happy to have a dialogue with others to better understand their unique circumstances and look for opportunities to continue our economy,” said Dr. Alisa Haushaulter.

Patrick said he hopes new changes will happen very soon.

“I’m going to lose out on 8 to 10 thousand dollars this week, which does affect the bottom line at the end of the day,” said Patrick.

Patrick said he plans on having his restaurant open on Sunday after it is fully sanitized.

The health department said they plan on meeting with the other businesses soon.

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