More Dallas Restaurants Close Their Doors as COVID-19 Reaches Employees

Sandwich Hag has closed temporarily after a staff member tested postiive for COVID-19.
Sandwich Hag has closed temporarily after a staff member tested postiive for COVID-19. Beth Rankin
The Dallas Observer ran a story Wednesday about restaurants temporarily closing after their employees tested positive for COVID-19. As the novel coronavirus continues to spread through the reopening state of Texas, this seems to be happening more — more restaurants announced closing between that story's filing and publishing.

So we'll continue to update you as we learn of what's going on. The scary thing is, too, that a number of the restaurants we have and will mention have been following every protocol for staff members while they're working. They appear to be doing all they can. And the virus is still reaching their employees.

A big blow Thursday came from Sandwich Hag in the Cedars, which is now temporarily closed. Chef and owner Reyna Duong took to Instagram for a video announcement saying someone on her staff had tested positive: The person noticed symptoms overnight and didn't return to work afterward.

Other staff members have tested negative and others are getting tested — Sandwich Hag is paying for those tests, and employees are getting paid days the restaurant is closed. They'll do a deep cleaning and keep customers updated through social media.

Sandwich Hag is one place we talked about early on — before the city shut down restaurants — because they were taking the virus seriously (before others were).

Thursday, Duong finished her video announcement while holding back tears:

“I encourage everyone to take this seriously; it's scary, it's real; we are going to remain calm and do everything we can to take care of our team and ensure our customers that we take this seriously. ...
The thought of us not being able to recover as a small business because customers may psychologically be afraid to come back again to Sandwich Hag is very scary. I hope that that's not the case, but at the same time if that is, I completely understand also. But I hope that's not the case, that you stick by us and know that throughout this whole process your safety, our safety, is our priority.”

Other restaurants closing because they've had staff members test positive for COVID-19 include Oak Cliff Social Club and Pluckers Wing Bar in Addison.

It is disappointing to hear that after Social has been so diligent in Social Distancing and disinfecting everything that...

Posted by Oak Cliff Social Club on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

And in the news of restaurants closing — but permanently so — we've gotten word that Ikigai Udon in Plano has shuttered.

New restaurants are opening, too, and we'll share words and first looks on those, as well.

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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now the Observer's food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.