SUMMIT, NJ - Roots Steakhouse and The Huntley Taverne in Summit are temporarily closed after employees at each location tested positive for COVID-19. Both restaurants are operated by Harvest Restaurant Group, which also announced that two of its other establishments -- the Addams Tavern in Westfield and Tabor Road Tavern in Morris Plans -- will also close "until further notice."
The Westfield Regional Health Department, according to the City of Summit, is investigating. The restaurant is said to be shuttered to allow for contact tracing. The number of employees that have tested positive is not known at the time, and it is not known what steps are being taken to notify customers who may have had potential exposure.
TAPinto Summit reached out via email to email Chip Grabowski of Harvest Restaurant Group -- which operates Roots, The Huntley Taverne and 12 other establishments in New Jersey -- and subsequently received the following emailed statement:
"To all Harvest Group employees and customers. We have recently been notified of positive Covid-19 test results of Harvest employees at four of our restaurants. In order to exercise an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily close the four locations, (Roots Steakhouse and Huntley Taverne in Summit, Addams Tavern in Westfield, and Tabor Road Tavern in Morris Plains), until further notice.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked closely with local and state health officials to ensure we are following all appropriate protocols. Temporarily closing our four locations is not a result of government mandate but rather a decision on the part of Harvest Group to err on the side of caution.
To say that COVID-19 has presented challenges and situations that are difficult to navigate is an understatement. The guidelines and information the public receives on it are dynamic and in a constant state of flux. One thing that has not changed since we decided to reopen our doors is our commitment to the safety and well-being of our guests and our employees.
By working closely with our local health officials and by following the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the NJ Restaurant Association, all of our decisions have been rooted in the interest of our employees and the tens of thousands of people we have served over these past few months. From when we first shuttered our doors in March to reopening locations for curbside pickup; to then opening for outside dining and most recently, at 25% capacity indoors, every step we've taken has been in accordance with government mandates and with our employees and communities in mind. With over 1200 employees in total, our responsibility is to provide them a place of safe gainful employment which we believe is paramount. It has also been our hope throughout these challenging and uncertain times to provide our neighbors with some sense of normalcy. We look forward to the day when that can happen once again.
We thank all our loyal guests and our dedicated team members for their continued support."
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.