Bynum Limits Restaurants to Takeout Service; Orders Bars, Gyms, Movie Theaters Closed Indefinitely

Mar 17, 2020

Credit Department of Defense

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issued an executive order Tuesday to limit restaurants to takeout service and close bars in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the city.

Restaurants may only offer curbside, takeout, drive-thru or delivery options after 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. Bars are to close immediately.

"This is in place indefinitely until we receive guidance from the CDC that it is safe to return to normal operations," Bynum said.

Businesses that don’t comply could lose their licenses.

The City of Tulsa is offering to waive the fee for an on-street parking space designated for curbside pickup. Restaurant owners can fill out an online form for that.

In addition to bars, smoking and vaping lounges, movie theaters, gyms, and recreational facilities like arcades and trampoline parks must close.

Bynum said he hates the impact the decision will have on businesses.

"But the impact of spreading this virus and overwhelming our health care system is a worse option. There are no good options in this situation," Bynum said.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, food pantries and shelters are not included in the order.

Bynum sought guidance from the Tulsa Health Department on closing bars and restaurants. Health department attorneys advised it was within the mayor's powers.