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Editor’s note: In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
UPDATE (March 27, 2020): Owner James Nelson posted this statement to the Facebook page of sister business TEN:
“Since we seem to draw a lot of attention here at TEN. We would like to set the record straight. We have spoken with officials from the City Of Atlanta. Along with Lieutenants from APD. They are in agreement that our setup is in compliance. Our tables represent social distancing while people are waiting for their food, they are not promoting gatherings. For all of those who feel the need to police us, you can rest at ease. We are doing our best to keep everyone safe and healthy and follow the guidelines closely. So stop by and join us for some TOGO food, drinks and we can social distance together.“
Several small groups of Midtowners late-Thursday were spotted gathering in front of Coq et Oeufs, a quick-service restaurant adjacent to TEN.
It was a jarring scene for many neighbors who voiced concerns on Facebook, referencing an Executive Order by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to “stay at home” and avoid gatherings of any kind.
The order, which is in effect until April 7, was designed to encourage social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The restaurant put out high-top tables and umbrellas for patrons waiting for food-to-go, according to an employee, but there doesn’t appear to be six feet of separation between customers as recommended by the C.D.C.
“Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible,” according to the C.D.C. website.
It also appears that the restaurant is serving cocktails that are being consumed at those very same tables.
While one of Mayor Bottoms’ Executive Orders allows restaurants to remain open for takeout and delivery, including the sale of alcohol, it must be “unopened” and consumed off-premise.
When asked to comment on the restaurant’s actions, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s office said, “the Administrative order speaks for itself.”
What Now Atlanta was unable to reach Coq et Oeufs for comment Thursday.
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]