JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Three popular Jacksonville Beach bars had to close down for cleaning after at least one customer tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The Wreck Tiki Lounge and The Tavern announced they would close Sunday, one day after Lynch’s Irish Pub closed its doors for cleaning.
“Our establishment has become aware of positive tests for Covid-19 and have visited our business. We are taking precautionary measures to ensure the well being of our staff and guest. We will be closed the next few days to sanitize the bar and send our staff to get tested,” The Tavern and The Wreck Tiki’s owner said in a statement.
News4Jax received multiple calls into the newsroom Saturday over concerns that COVID-19 may have spread at Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach.
Erika Crisp said she and multiple friends have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a birthday party at Lynch’s last Saturday.
She said she works in the health care industry and got tested immediately after she noticed symptoms.
“I feel like an idiot. I know that I’ve been so cautious up until now, and with Florida opening back up it’s kind of that whole out of sight out of mind,” Crisp said.
Crisp also encourages anyone who has been to Lynch’s since it reopened to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate themselves.
We reached out to the pub’s General Manager, Kieth Doherty, who confirmed Lynch’s closed down as a safety precaution.
Doherty said the entire staff would be tested for COVID-19 after he believes a customer came in and spread the virus eight days prior, the same Friday bars were allowed to reopen.
A cleaning crew was at the bar performing a deep clean on Sunday. According to Doherty, closing the pub for sanitation cost a total of $7,000.
News4Jax also heard from the mayor of Jacksonville Beach, Charlie Latham, who said that he believes it is an isolated incident, but that the city is keeping a close eye on capacity at bars.
News4Jax also spoke with a patron who was at Lynch’s after it re-opened and he said that he’s trying to be more cautious while still going out.
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We also reached out to other bars nearby in Jacksonville Beach on Saturday. An employee at The Shim Sham Room said they knew nothing about Lynch’s closing, but that the cocktail lounge plans to remain open.
The manager at Brix Taphouse said the bar also plans to stay open.
“To my knowledge, Lynch’s is the only one,” Brix’s manager said.