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Colorado Bars, Restaurants Closed to In-Person Dining

UPDATE: 5:15pm, March 16, 2020

Hours after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the closure of Denver bars and restaurants to in-person dining to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis extended the closure statewide.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, all bars and restaurants will be closed to interior dining. Restaurants will be able to offer delivery, drive-thru and pick-up options. Polis’ order is for 30 days.

Keep reading to learn how some restaurants are adjusting their delivery and carryout options. We will continue to update this story as time permits.

St. Patrick’s Day 2020 will be a little less social and celebratory than years past as Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday announced the closure of all bars and restaurants in Denver and Denver County—except those offering delivery, drive-thru or carryout—beginning at 8am on Tuesday, March 17.

The move is an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. Hancock said the closure would last through Monday, May 11, unless the city receives new information regarding potential impacts to public health.

In general, Denver is acting in accordance with new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The city is also limiting gatherings of more than 50 people, with a few exceptions, including gyms and theaters.

Denver has installed a number of hand-washing stations throughout the city. An online map of these stations will be posted on the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment website.

Many Denver restaurants had already closed their doors or switched to delivery and/or pick-up menus. Some restaurant groups, including Big Red F (which operates Zolo Grill and Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar among others), will extend the indoor-seating closure to restaurants statewide but instead offer delivery and carryout options.

“We can’t feed you in our house right now, but we look forward to feeding you in yours,” said Big Red F Founder Dave Query.

Likewise, Sage Restaurant Concepts (which operates Urban Farmer, Kachina Cantina, and others) is focusing on takeout service and has launched an initiative dubbed Keep Calm and Carry Out. The effort promotes safe social distancing by offering pick-up orders and also raises money to help those impacted by COVID-19. Sage Restaurant Group and participating restaurants will donate $1 from each carryout order to Feeding America, a nonprofit helping local food banks respond to the increased demand associated with the coronavirus.

—DiningOut Staff Report