The Grille at Flower Hill is closed indefinitely after the owner received an abundance of social media backlash for a now-deleted Facebook post that said his employees will not wear face masks.
The Grille’s Facebook page is now nowhere to be found, and the owner told MyMCMedia that he has taken it down. He said “I’m done.”
A sign on the Gaithersburg restaurant’s front door says “Closed until further notice.”
The restaurant was supposed to have a second inspection from a Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) health inspector, following the first visit on July 2 that prompted the Facebook post. However, DHHS Spokesperson Mary Anderson told MyMCMedia that The Grille never reopened on Thursday, so no inspection was able to take place.
The July 2 visit came after complaints were received about employees not wearing face coverings. The inspector gave a “verbal reminder” about public health requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was after this visit that the Facebook post against mask-wearing was made. Complaints continued being made to the county, and the second visit from an inspector was scheduled for Thursday, as the restaurant’s normal operating days are Thursday-Sunday.
“Let me be very clear… my staff will not wear face masks while working here at the Grille,” the Facebook post from The Grille said last week.
“If that bothers you then please dine elsewhere and please try to find something more important to occupy your time such as volunteer at a nursing home or soup kitchen. Whoever you are that filed the complaint, you need to take a good look in the mirror and try to find some real meaning in your life.”
In a statement emailed to MyMCMedia, Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles acknowledged complaints received about The Grille. Gayles said a complaint was received Monday, June 29, and a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) environmental health inspector visited the restaurant three days later on Thursday, July 2. The inspector gave a “verbal reminder” about public health requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Complaints about employees not wearing masks were again received on Monday, July 6. According to the statement and The Grille’s Facebook page, the restaurant’s normal operating days are Thursday-Sunday, so it will be visited by the DHHS again on Thursday, July 9 when it reopens.