Nate ‘n Al’s has temporarily shuttered its take out operation after a cluster of COVID-19 cases among its staff. The iconic Beverly Hills delicatessen made the announcement Jan. 4 in an Instagram post, saying that it would reopen on Jan. 12.
“We have made the decision to voluntary [sic] close Nate N Al’s due to four of our employees testing positive for COVID over the weekend,” Nate ‘n Al’s owner Shelli Azoff said in a statement. “Out of caution and for the utmost safety of our staff and guests, we felt it was best to close temporarily. We are taking every necessary precaution, and after testing all of our employees, we will safely re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 12th.”
According to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) guidelines, workplaces must disclose clusters to the county, with clusters defined as “three (3) or more cases of COVID-19 within the workplace within a span of 14 days.” As of Jan. 5, Nate ‘n Al’s was not listed in a County database of outbreaks.
“If a cluster is identified at a worksite, the Department of Public Health will initiate a cluster response which includes providing infection control guidance and recommendations, technical support and site-specific control measures,” Public Health guidelines state. “A public health case manager will be assigned to the cluster investigation to help guide the facility response. The Department of Public Health will need the facility’s immediate cooperation to determine whether the cluster of cases constitutes an outbreak of COVID-19.”
A spokesperson for the restaurant did not immediately respond to whether the county had been informed of the cluster.
While county rules do not require restaurants to close following discovery of a cluster, they do mandate that anyone who came into contact with an infected individual isolate.
This is not the first obstacle the Jewish deli has faced during the pandemic. On March 28, Nate ‘n Al’s similarly announced it would temporarily close as a result of COVID-19, though it did not provide a potential re-open date.
“Approximately one month ago the world as we knew it changed,” the restaurant posted on Instagram, alongside a black and white photo of the storefront. “We had hoped that we could continue our take out and delivery service so that we could provide the community with the food that has been a part of our lives for years. However, our number one priority is to keep our customers and our staff safe and secure during this time of uncertainty.”
But less than a month later, on May 15, Nate ‘n Als took to social media to make a much happier announcement. “Guess what?! WE’RE BACK!”
“We look forward to serving the Beverly Hills community again soon and we thank them as always, for the continued support,” Azoff said.