What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Durham bar among latest to require vaccination proof for indoor customers

Posted August 9, 2021 2:10 p.m. EDT
Updated August 11, 2021 9:46 a.m. EDT

Photo credit: Stacey Sprenz

— A popular Durham bar is the latest business to announce that it will begin requiring indoor patrons to show proof of vaccination for COVID-19.

Kingfisher, located at 321 E. Chapel Hill St., announced via social media Tuesday that the new policy would start on Aug. 17. Outdoor seating at Kingfisher will continue to be open to all guests, regardless of vaccination status.

The announcement comes as COVID-19 cases continue to spike throughout the state and nationwide.

"This decision is not motivated by fear, but rather by a desire to care for our community, as they've cared for us. We care about providing the safest work environment for our team, and we care that everyone who enters our door believes we are providing the safest possible environment for guests," owners wrote in a Facebook post. "We value every single person who has ever supported Kingfisher and look forward to the day when we can welcome all folks into our basement bar. But for now, we ask for your understanding and cooperation so that we can keep our indoor bar open and continue to serve our community safely."

Kingfisher joins a growing number of Triangle area businesses requiring indoor patrons to show proof of vaccination.

In Raleigh, Wye Hill Kitchen and Brewing announced Tuesday that it would be requiring diners indoors to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking.

"Following the most recent guidelines from the CDC, all guests are required to wear a mask inside our Tap Room when not actively eating or drinking regardless of vaccination status. Masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests while on our patio only. Our team will commence wearing masks as well, as your safety is our utmost concern," restaurant owners posted on social media.

The decision came after one of Wye Hill's team members tested positive for COVID-19.

"This individual hasn’t been in the building since last Saturday, and did not come into contact with the majority of our team given the nature of their position. Those individuals who have come into contact with the employee will remain out of our building until a Negative COVID test result is provided or 14 days of symptom-free quarantine is completed, per the CDC guidelines," owners wrote. "Our space has been deep cleaned and sanitized by a team of certified professionals."

Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro will start requiring proof of vaccination for COVID-19 for all dine-in guests starting Thursday, owners announced via social media.

"We make this choice with our team and guests safety as our first priority. Kids under 12 will still be welcomed in as long as they’re masked unless seated at the table. We hope this continues to show our commitment to providing a safe place to share a meal and company," owners wrote on social media. "Navigating our current landscape continues to prove a huge challenge for restaurants so please continue to be loving and appreciate what myself, my team, and every other restaurant in our community do."

Pizzeria Mercato is also open for curbside take-out.

In Durham, owners of French bistro Rue Cler said they would be requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for dining starting Tuesday. The restaurant said that accepted forms of proof include a CDC vaccination record card or a picture the card on a mobile device.

Children ages 12 and younger will be exempt from the vaccination requirement but must wear masks.

The Players Retreat in Raleigh also requires proof of vaccination to dine inside. Guests must bring proof of vaccination and register with hosts to get a "PR - I'm Vaxxed!" button." Unvaccinated people are allowed to dine outside.

"The pandemic completely changed how we do business, and we are placing these temporary policies in place to keep our team and guests safe. My wife, Doris, several of our employees and a number of regular guests have severe respiratory issues – keeping them safe and away from any risk is our top priority," owner Gus Gusler said before the restaurant reopened in late June.

On Monday, Motorco Music Hall in Durham announced that it would require proof of vaccination for all guests attending any events on its calendar. Temperature checks will also be done at the door and masks must be worn at all times except when eating and drinking.

"Our staff is already 100% vaccinated and all artists will be checked before they enter our building to ensure the safest possible environment. We appreciate our community’s support as we continue to reintroduce live events during this very trying time," owners posted on social media.

Anyone who has purchased tickets and would like a refund should email showinfo@motorcomusic.com.

On Monday, North Carolina was averaging almost 3,300 new COVID-19 cases each day, a number that hasn't been seen since February. The spike in cases is largely due to the highly-contagious Delta variant and more people gathering in groups without masks, local health officials say.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance for fully vaccinated people, saying even they should wear a mask in some areas where COVID-19 cases are spreading. Most central N.C. school districts and many local universities and businesses reacted to the advice, again requiring masks indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccine status.

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