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As New Year's Eve Approaches, COVID-19 Throws Wrench In Plans For Bars And Restaurants

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The coronavirus is throwing a wrench in some New Year's Eve plans in the Pittsburgh area.

The sign says it all at Dish Osteria and Bar: "Closed through January 1st because of COVID-19."

On Mt. Washington, the co-owner of Bigham Tavern said before the holidays, there was a recent surge in COVID-19 cases among his staff. On Sunday, the tavern closed down for the week, canceling the New Year's Eve party.

"It's a big night," co-owner Joseph Rewis said. "It always has been a big night for almost any bar or restaurant, especially up here on Mt. Washington."

The popular bar and restaurant will be closed until Jan. 3. Rewis said 25 percent of his 65 employees have tested positive or have been exposed to the virus.

Watch as KDKA's Lindsay Ward reports:


"It's a toll trying to figure out who is working when or who is sick and who is not sick," the co-owner said. "What we ran into this round of the virus, even our health staff didn't want to risk the exposure."

Rewis posted the news on social media that the New Year's Eve party is canceled. He added that all pre-paid reservations were refunded.

"We had over 300 total reservations that we had to cancel, unfortunately. It was a tough decision to make. It was the right decision," Rewis said.

At Dish, a COVID-19 exposure amongst staff forced the restaurant to shut down through Jan. 1. In Lawrenceville, Spirit bar closed its door on Christmas Eve after some staff and guests tested positive for COVID-19.

A co-owner said it will re-open Thursday with its staff members who received negative test results.

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