Atlanta-based chef Ford Fry has announced that he has closed all of his restaurants, including Houston’s Superica, La Lucha, and State of Grace, completely in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The announcement came via Facebook post on Thursday, shuttering all of the restaurants operated by his Rocket Farms Restaurants group. “To prioritize the health and safety of our team, guests, and communities, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close all restaurants, including to-go services, effective immediately and quarantine our entire organization for 14 days,” the statement reads in part.
Plenty of Houston restaurants have opted to close their doors entirely instead of pivoting to takeout and delivery, but Fry is perhaps the first local restaurateur to publicly express concerns over maintaining the health of his staff and customers during the pandemic.
Fry isn’t the first chef to make a decision like this. Yesterday, Portland chef Andy Ricker cited similar health and safety concerns when he announced the closure of all locations of his famed Thai-inflected restaurant Pok Pok following the death of New York City chef Floyd Cardoz. Cardoz reportedly died of complications that followed after he contracted COVID-19.
Amid the closures, Fry’s company has established an employee relief fund that diners can donate to via PayPal to assist servers who’ve lost their source of income.