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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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.

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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.]

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Alan
3 months ago

Looks like they are 6feet apart to me and no more than 10 people.

Raul
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan

Alan, you may wanna get a pair of glasses and take a second look.

frogg
3 months ago

Concerned neighbors can pick up the phone and call 911.

Anonymous
3 months ago

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?

Raul
3 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

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

Anonymous
3 months ago
Reply to  Raul

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?

Kyle
3 months ago

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.

Raul
3 months ago

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

George
3 months ago

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.

Raul
3 months ago
Reply to  George

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

George
3 months ago
Reply to  Raul

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

Raul
3 months ago
Reply to  George

Oh please get over it. Whine whine whine. Go back to your Trump alternative universe.

Snaz
3 months ago
Reply to  George

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

Sue
3 months ago

Do the police have the authority to shut this kind of activity?

Julie
3 months ago

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.

John
3 months ago

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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