Davenport bar temporarily closes due to COVID-19 concerns, precautions

It's been over one month since Iowa restaurants and bars were allowed to open. Now, some are announcing temporary closures.
Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 11:46 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Illinois moved onto phase four this weekend, and businesses like restaurants and bars were able to open at 25 percent. In Iowa, however, some restaurants and bars have announced temporary closures due to a rise in concerns over COVID-19. It’s been over one month since bars and restaurants could reopen in Iowa. 

“COVID is not going anywhere. So how do you...what do you do? How do you deal with it, you know,” said Gary Rowland. 

Rowland and his wife own Mac’s Tavern in downtown Davenport. Over the weekend, they announced that they would temporarily close. They said there are no positive cases among their employees, but they’re taking a proactive approach as closures around the Quad Cities continue. The bar still has St. Patrick’s Day decorations hanging on the ceiling, marking a celebration they have yet to have.

“You know I’ve left all the St. Patty’s up because I still feel like this city owes me a proper celebration. So I’m not gonna take it down until next year but at the same time, I need to step back and go you know what it’s gonna be fine. Just relax. We’ll figure it out,” Rowland said.

In a post on their Facebook page, they said “We feel it’s our duty to do everything we can to keep our community safe”

“People are a little tired of being told what they can and can’t do. So I understand the frustration, but, you know, I don’t want to be responsible for stepping backward. I don’t want my place to be the reason we go backward,” Rowland said, " we have turned away business, we have, we have tried to not get over 50% capacity. Even though we’re allowed to go 100%, because I just don’t, I don’t want to. I don’t want it to be us.”

Rowland said they’ve been able to keep all of their staff through this time but shutting down wasn’t easy, especially on a weekend.

“The staff understood that, once again, they were not as thrilled about it. Saturdays, you know, the busiest day everybody gets paid on Saturday work so. But [it] needed to happen so that’s what we did,” he said.

Rowland said the community has taken care of many bars and restaurants like theirs throughout the years and on social media the response from the community has been overall supportive and understanding.

“I really appreciate that the community [is] supporting our decision to do that even though it was financially, not as a business owner, it was not financially conducive for me to make that decision, especially on a Saturday, but it was the right decision and I’m glad that everybody understood that,” he said. 

For now, they’re going to continue to do the same deep-cleaning they’ve always done and hopefully reopen soon. Rowland said they’ll be getting input from the staff and will post updates on their Facebook page.

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