Niche Food Group is closing the doors to all of its restaurants except Cinder House amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Owner Gerard Craft announced via Facebook on Monday that nearly all of his restaurants – Brasserie, Taste, Sardella, Pastaria and Brasswell – will be closed until further notice.
"After seeing nights of very crowded dining rooms I found myself more terrified than relieved. While we want to be open for you, as a place to restore, we know that we are putting you and our employees in harms way. All of the smartest people I know are saying that the only way to slow or stop this pandemic is extreme social distancing and more importantly self quarantine," Craft said.
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There will also be no carry-out or delivery options from the restaurants.
"At this time all experts are telling us that bringing people to work everyday for non essential services is continuing to make the spread of coronavirus worse so we are going to shut down completely and we will not be offering food to-go at this time," Craft said. "This could always change down the road as we learn more about the spread of this virus and hear from experts that this is OK. Our number one goal right now is doing our part to put an end to this virus."
Craft said that during this time, Niche Food Group will focus its efforts on a project called The North Sarah Food Hub, which provides meals to people in need. The project will deliver meals to for free to those who need them during the crisis. Craft also said that the company will be activating its kitchens to provide free to-go meals for Niche Food Group employees affected by the closure.
While Niche is able to provide a small financial runway for employees during this time, Craft emphasized that many establishments will not be able to provide that support. He called upon both local and state politicians to provide support and relief to the hospitality industry.