By Meredith Barack

CHICAGO (CBS) — A number of restaurants owners have chosen to temporarily close their doors because of COVID.

CBS 2’s Meredith Barack reports from one Logan Square spot that won’t reopen until New Year’s Eve. It joins a growing list of restaurants that are responding to the surge in COVID-19 cases with temporary closures. Many of them are hopeful the move will allow them to safely reopen in the coming days and into the new year.

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“It’s really hard to keep a restaurant running with so few employees.”

When several Flat & Point employees told Executive chef and co-owner Brian Bruns they had a potential COVID exposure, he made the decision to cancel reservations and close for in-person service through December 30.

“As we start to see other restaurants closing down because cases started to rise, it became apparent to us that that is probably something that’s going to be in our future with Christmas coming around,” Bruns said.

It means tables, typically filled with diners on Thursday through Sunday nights will sit empty for more than a week.

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“What we don’t want to do is lose all of our money basically for the entire month by somebody getting sick and having the whole restaurant shut down completely for 10 days and then inevitably forcing a closure,” Bruns said.

The Logan Square restaurant, that specializes in smoked meats, joins at least a dozen other Chicago restaurants temporarily closing their doors. Some, like Lone Wolf Tavern and Estereo, will only be closed through Tuesday night to allow for staff testing.

Others, like Lardon and The Native, will wait several days to reopen after their employees tested positive for COVID, while others will be closed through the holiday weekend. At Flat & Point, employees are continuing to test so they can reopen for New Year’s celebrations.

In the meantime, they’re relying on take out orders throughout the holiday weekend to keep them afloat.

“It’s better for us to take a one day, or two day loss rather than closing for a longer period of time,” Bruns said.

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Meredith Barack