Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen, a culinary staple for home-style curries and melt-in-your-mouth patties, has temporarily closed its doors until further notice, after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
The restaurant broke the news via social media on Sept. 21st, stating that the staff member, whose last shift was on Sept. 17th, is currently quarantined at home.
“During these challenging times, we believe transparency is the only way forward,” Chubby’s wrote via Instagram. “While not mandatory, we have immediately closed our restaurant until further notice as our guest and team member safety will always be number one.”
There has been no mention of a set re-opening date, and takeout meals from Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen can no longer be ordered from popular delivery service, UberEats.
The restaurant has expressed optimism that this was an isolated incident, as no other team members are experiencing symptoms of the virus.
Regardless, the entire staff at Chubby’s is currently in self-isolation, and must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test before they’ll be permitted to return to work.
“We will only re-open when we feel it is safe to do so, and only with team members who have tested negative,” Chubby’s reiterated via Instagram.
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Before it reopens to the public, Chubby’s will also undergo professional sanitization to ensure no surface contamination is present, and to guarantee a safe dining experience for all dining patrons.
Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, as hundreds of Toronto restaurants and eateries shuttered their doors, some forever, Chubby’s worked relentlessly to reinvent itself under extraordinary circumstances that none in the hospitality industry could have predicted.
Even when its own doors were forced shut in early March, the restaurant continued to provide social media updates to its loyal customer base, whether that meant constantly posting tantalizing, visual reminders of signature Caribbean dishes or engaging with followers via contests and giveaways.
With enhanced training for staff and new health and safety protocols in place, Chubby’s managed to re-open for takeout and delivery on Apr. 1st, just weeks after initially shutting up shop.
Then, in mid-May, the restaurant took its food delivery services one step further, and launched Chubby’s Marketplace, an online, one-stop-shop for grocery delivery to those wary of long lines, or crowded grocery stores—their signature mango pepper sauce and house-made lemon vinaigrette were even included, alongside their specialty jerk chicken marinade, further allowing diners to try their own hand at making their favourite dishes from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
On July 26th, Chubby’s opened its extended outdoor patio, and days later, re-opened its first-floor indoor dining area, enhancing the restaurant’s overall volume while allocating the respectful amount of space necessary to practice safe physical distancing.
Currently, as a result of the temporary closure, Chubby’s has modified all existing reservations. In addition, contract tracing details (mandatory for all restaurants in the city) have been shared with Toronto Public Health, and those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 after dining at Chubby’s will be notified.
“We thank everyone for your support during this trying time and look forward to welcoming you back to our little island escape at 104 Portland St. very soon,” Chubby’s concluded.