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Oxford Restaurants Must Close Doors to Dining Areas; Curbside, Delivery Allowed

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, no Oxford restaurant or other business can serve food inside the business for at least 15 days.

On Tuesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a resolution declaring a civil emergency in the city of Oxford in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that mandates that all restaurants shall only serve food using drive-through, curbside pick-up, or delivery methods, and shall not allow the use by the public of interior or exterior common dining or bar facilities.

The resolution affects all restaurants, fast food restaurants and markets and gas stations that serve hot food with sit-down eating areas. However, since the city is not closing grocery stores or gas stations, customers can purchase the hot food inside and take it to-go.

The resolution also allows the mayor to implement a community curfew and restrict the sale of alcohol however, Mayor Robyn Tannehill stressed that she is not considering those options at this time.

“Approving this allows me to make those decisions without having to come back before the board and hold another meeting,” she explained.

Tannehill said the move to close the doors on inside dining “breaks her heart.”

Clint Boutwell, owner of Oxford Grillehouse, was the only person from the public to speak on the matter during the sparsely attended meeting. He asked why people can wait at a counter at places like CashSaver or gas stations for “chicken-on-a-stick” but not wait inside a restaurant to pick up food.

Tannehill said there was no way to be able to address all circumstances and that this is all new territory.

“I wish I had a perfect solution to all the scenarios that come up,” she said. “People need grocery stores and gas stations to be open right now. We are going to err on the side of caution to protect this community.”

After the 15 days, a decision will be made to extend the mandate or make any changes.

Annihilate said the city of Oxford will accommodate restaurants in “any way” it can to help create parking spaces for curbside parking and creating temporary drive-thru lanes.

Several restaurants have already made the decision to close completely for an unknown amount of time including Ajax Diner, Proud Larry’s and Saint Leo.

Watch the entire Board of Aldermen meeting on YouTube at
https://youtu.be/5Uupk6I7IqQ.


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