GLEN BURNIE, Md. — With a limited capacity, plexiglass, spacing and masks, Owner Bill Chalmers says The Grill at Quarterfield Station in Glen Burnie is successfully balancing business with public safety during the pandemic.
“We have not had one employee get COVID,” said Chalmers. “Think about that. Not one employee has gotten COVID in my restaurant.”
Concern that Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman could shut down indoor and outdoor dining has prompted the county’s five chambers of commerce to send him a letter on Wednesday appealing for him to hold back.
“A restaurant that had been in business for 60 years, the Sunset went under,” said Beth Nowell, CEO of the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. “Just last week, we watch a large caterer fall. Michael’s 8th Avenue that had been around for 40-some years went under and those are a big restaurant and a big caterer so, yes, I think there’s potential for restaurants going under.”
In a show of unity, Pittman joined with leaders from Maryland’s other largest counties and Baltimore City in a tele-conference drawing upon health experts to suggest more restrictions may be needed.
“I’m going to be making an announcement tomorrow about some further restrictions,” Pittman told them.
That could be bad news for The Grill, which laid off 40 employees at the onset of the pandemic, brought many of them back and now faces the prospect of sending them home again if it loses its ability to operate with 25-percent of its capacity.
“At 25, we could still make it,” said Chalmers. “A shut down---I think there’s going to be a lot of restaurants really, seriously in trouble. You know. It’s going to be survival. That’s how we all look at it.”
Chalmers says the spill over effect of businesses laying off workers who would face uncertain government benefits and mounting bills would also have an effect on the entire community.