Despite our best efforts, we feel that this is not enough to keep our people safe.
Blend Lounge, Graffiti Pizza, World of Beer and Taco Agave yesterday announced on Facebook that the popular downtown Pensacola spots were temporarily closing their doors, effective Wednesday, out of concern for the health and safety of their patrons and staff.
We have always made decisions that are best for the business and the community, but now we need to take that one step further. Our staff, our community, our loyal customers, our friends, and our families’ safety is our number one priority. With the extreme rise in cases in our local area and downtown, we have to step back and ask ourselves, “What is right?”
From the beginning, we have followed all CDC Guidelines and Recommendations concerning cleanliness and sanitation. We voluntarily closed our dining rooms before the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation made their official announcement on Friday, June 26th. We’ve increased the frequency of sanitizing all surfaces. We have installed hand sanitizer stations throughout the complex. We expanded our outdoor dining to promote social distancing. We switched to all single-use menus and paper goods to minimize contact. We changed our operations to encourage Curbside Pickup in an effort to serve our guests as safely as possible.
Despite our best efforts, we feel that this is not enough to keep our people safe. The last thing we ever want to do is unnecessarily expose our staff and guests to potential dangers. With that being said, we have made the decision to temporarily shut down all operations at 200 South (Graffiti Pizza, World of Beer, Taco Agave, Blend Lounge) effective July 1st.
We never thought we would have to make this decision, but it is clearly the right choice to make morally and ethically. To continue operations, even on a limited basis, is irresponsible and an unnecessary risk to everyone involved. We would only be contributing to the greater problem.
As a business, we are not the only ones affected by this closure. Our staff will be greatly affected as well. We know they depend on money from our business to feed their families and pay their bills. These obligations will not simply cease to exist because we have closed. We are dedicated to making sure our staff is taken care of during this difficult time and as such each one of our staff members will be paid during this time.
We will be using this time to take whatever measures possible to ensure our staff and guests have a safe environment to return to when we reopen. We will continue to follow all CDC guidelines for cleaning. We will be conducting a deep clean at each business and sanitize everything. We will continue to use all safety measures we implemented prior to this closure.
At the end of the day, we know this is not forever. As tough as it is to look into the future, we know we will return stronger as a business and as members of the Pensacola Community we love so much. Thank you to everyone for your continued and future support. We would not be able to do this without each and every one of you.We look forward to serving you and our community again soon.
Stay safe Pensacola,
Matt LaFon- Owner
Scott Zepp- Owner
Kelly Hogrebe – Director of Operations
Brandon Creager – General Manager
Timothy Hallmark – General Manager
Kevin Cannon – Kitchen Manager
Jim Carruth – Kitchen Manager
Heather Hice-McCray – Director of Marketing and Events
and the rest of our 200 South Family