HOUSTON – After temporarily closing both Copperfield and Willowbrook locations due to employees testing positive for the coronavirus, Willie’s Grill & Ice House will reopen Friday, CEO Greg Lippert said in a video announcement on Facebook.
The Copperfield location reopened at 11 a.m., while Willowbrook near 249 will reopen at 5 p.m. later Friday. Both locations will continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery.
Lippert said he will pay for a customer’s burger and drink if they spot him at any of the two locations.
The reopening came after three employees tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after reopening for dine-in services.
Find Greg at our Copperfield or Willowbrook/249 locations in Houston and he’ll buy you a burger! 🍔 🍔 🍔 . We’re pleased to announce the reopening of our Copperfield and Willowbrook/249 locations in Houston today! Copperfield will reopen at 11AM, Willowbrook will open at 5PM today. Both locations will offer dine in, curbside, and delivery. Stop in and see us! #patioseason #openairdining #werebackPosted by Willie's Grill & Icehouse on Friday, May 29, 2020
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Two Houston-area restaurants owned by the same company shut their doors after a few employees tested positive for COVID-19.
Willie’s Grill & Icehouse closed their locations at 7092 Highway 6 and 19770 Highway 249 after three employees contracted the coronavirus. Greg Lippert, President and CEO, said he closed the two locations out of an abundance of caution.
Lippert said the restaurants remained opened during the mandatory shutdowns, offering takeout orders only. In the last 30 days, all employees had to fill out a health form, have their temperatures checked each shift, and must wear masks and gloves. Even with those policies in place Lippert said three employees contracted COVID-19.
Lippert said an employee at their Copperfield location on Highway 6 felt sick on the job on May 19 and was sent home. Another employee at the same location was also feeling ill and went to see a doctor. The second employee later tested positive for the virus, Lippert said.
On May 23, Lippert said a cook at the Highway 249 location tested positive for COVID-19.
Lippert said though the health department didn’t require him to close those two restaurants he thought it was the right thing to do. He said all employees are receiving tests and the restaurants will undergo a deep cleaning before they’ll reopen. In the meantime, he’s still paying employees.
“For over 20 years you have trusted us to keep the highest levels of cleanliness, sanitation, and food safety," the company wrote on Facebook Sunday. "We continue to earn that trust by putting the safety of our Team Members and Guests first.”
Lippert expects the two locations to reopen on May 28 or May 29.
Willie’s Grill and Icehouse created a hotline (firstname.lastname@example.org) for concerned customers who may have recently dined at those locations.