Coronavirus in Knoxville: Bar hit hard by COVID-19 concerns

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – On Monday, Mayor Indya Kincannon declared a state of emergency in Knoxville.

She also issued a series of recommendations for Knoxville bars and restaurants. They include encouraging all restaurants to utilize takeout and delivery services, limiting seating to fifty percent of capacity and separating occupied tables by at least 6 feet.

Blackhorse Pub and Brewery said they’ve been hit hard amid concerns over COVID-19, but managers say it will stay open as long as it can.

“We’ve been disinfecting the restaurant twice an hour for the last week or so. We’ve always had a really good standard as far as disinfecting the restaurant goes, but we’ve just really stepped it up a lot lately,” said manager Jessica Stewart.

Concerns over coronavirus are making a mark in the downtown Knoxville business.

“Everybody is scared, and we’d like for people to continue to support small businesses. As you can see right now we’re just not really getting much of that,” Stewart said.

The observation is not lost on frequent downtown visitors.

“It started about seven days ago, when I parked in the garage, and I came around the corner, and there’s like what you’re seeing right now. There’s no one on the square,” said Jeff Heiskell.

Knoxville’s mayor issued recommendations for restaurants and bars, which include separating tables by at least six feet.

“For the guests that we do have coming in, that’s definitely what we are practicing, it’s just a matter of getting those people in the door as well,” Stewart said.

Mayor Kincannon said she is aware of the economic hardships businesses face, but she says public health is paramount and acting now helps flatten the curve of cases.

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