The Howard County Times reported today “Ruby Tuesday abruptly closes Columbia location“. According to that article Ruby Tuesday in Columbia had been opened for more than 20 years.
Back on September 22nd Scott E’s Blog reported “Second Chance Saloon will be closing to the public on October 11, 2020“. Second Chance had been open for more than 12 years.
Back in July The Merriweather Post reported “Clyde’s of Columbia and The Soundry to close on July 19“. Clyde’s of Columbia had been around for 45 years.
Those are just some of the notable closings here in Howard County…there have been others as well.
Not just here in Howard County…another notable closing that hit my radar recently was Union Jacks in Annapolis announced on September 28th that they are now closed.
While the increase of indoor capacity from 50% to 75% capacity sounds like a good thing for restaurants and bars…the reality of it does not match what is possible for most establishments given the guidance from the Maryland State Heath Department (read here). Here are two articles you should read on this topic:
- Governor Hogan Announces Expanded Capacity for Indoor Dining, Marks Beginning of Maryland Restaurant Week
- Maryland restaurant association calls for looser restrictions
Starting tomorrow restaurants and bars will face two new hurdles during this COVID-19 pandemic:
- Across the state: Maryland restaurants brace for Styrofoam ban to begin Thursday
- In Howard County: Starting October 1, 2020, all stores in Howard County who provide customers a disposable plastic bag at the point of sale are required to charge 5 cents per bag
As I Look at the economic picture over the short term and long term related to the new rules, restrictions and limited capacity…I am more than a little concerned we may see more of these establishments close in our area before long.
I understand that for our elected officials this is a tricky thing trying to balance safety of our residents and the needs of businesses in order to remain open…but at what point do we move forward and save these businesses before more doors close and people lose their jobs in this industry? I do not know that answer…but there has to be data points (numbers, metrics and information) that the industry can look to for a light at the end of the tunnel (one can hope…right).
If you have information on other businesses closing in Howard County due to COVID-19 be sure to send that information along to [email protected] and I will do my best to cover what I can here for our community.