Is This Midtown Restaurant Discouraging Social Distancing By Putting Tables In Its Parking Lot?

Small groups of Atlantans were spotted hanging out in front of Coq et Oeufs during Mayor's 'stay at home' order.
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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.]

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak is the Founder of What Now Media Group, Inc. Check out our publications in your city: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa.

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  1. This is definitely not the only restaurant in midtown that is currently selling cocktails and has people waiting/drinking outside… why just pick on them?

    1. Pick on them? They are part of the headline dude! In any event, plain irresponsible. This isn’t a Gay Pride event. Geesh!!!!

      1. Who’s talking about gay pride? I also didn’t say that this is okay… selling cocktails out the front door in sight of the street is just plain stupid. Just why pick on this restaurant when plenty of others are doing the same thing?

  2. My wife works in the ER. These people are endangering her. I’m sure they’re not thinking that far, but they’re pissing me off.

  3. I drove by yesterday and the crowd was NOT 6’ apart. Looked like a normal day. Shut them down!

  4. I count less than 25 in the whole parking lot and maintaining quite a good distance between each other…IDK about the alcohol, as I can’t clearly make out what is in anyone’s hand but I find it funny there’s people complaining about this yet there will be literal hundreds of people walking shoulder to shoulder on the Beltline and gathered in the park this weekend.

    1. Oh believe me buddy, there were more than 25 yesterday. And yes, the Beltline should also have stricter restrictions. This is ridiculous.

      1. thanks for the clarification keyboard cowboy….you clearly have a lot to say about this, driving by and spying like some modern day Gladys Kravitz….but I ain’t your buddy and you definitely need some sort of hobby

        1. Spying is driving by a place and noticing? Are you on the sauce this morning cause you sound disturbed.

  5. Don’t forget following guidelines helps us ALL get back on our feet faster and can help stop the spread. Watch NYC closer, this will humble you. Please do your part.

  6. They were waiting on to go food and trying to support a local restaurant. I don’t see the big deal. I walked by them and most people were separated.

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