‘It is what it is’: Derby’s Dew Drop Inn closed for now, employee tests positive for COVID-19
DERBY — COVID-19 has once again impacted the Dew Drop Inn.
Just when things seemed to be picking up, Jason Carlucci shut down his Dew Drop Inn on North Avenue on Friday for at least the next week after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“We’re doing this out of concern for our employees and our customers,” said Carlucci, who owns the popular restaurant known statewide for its 100 varieties of chicken wings. “We’re closed for at least a week and maybe longer depending on what the testing discloses.”
Carlucci said the employee has had two tests so far — one negative and one positive. So the individual was sent to have a more comprehensive test Friday. The Dew Drop owner said the individual was “asymptomatic” so there is possibility that there could have been a false positive result.
“We should have the results in two or three days,” Carlucci said, adding updates will be posted on the Dew Drop’s Facebook page.
Carlucci said if a second positive test comes back, he will shut the restaurant down for two weeks and have his staff quarantine during that time.
“This was a surprise but I have to do what I think is best for my employees and my customers,” Carlucci said. “So we are going to shut down completely for a week. I’ve hired a company to come in and do a deep cleaning with chemicals.”
He said no other employees have tested positive. If a positive test comes back on the impacted employee, “we’ll all get tested again.”
He advised any customers who have patronized the restaurant in the past week and have concerns “to go out and get tested.”
“There’s no shame to this. (The virus) is everywhere,” he said. “I just have to do what I think is right.”
The Dew Drop Inn has been recognized with statewide awards for its chicken wings. Brewery bus tours often stop at the site.
Back in March, Carlucci abided by Gov. Ned Lamont’s orders to cease indoor dining in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19. He shut down the dining room and converted to take out and delivery. When those orders were relaxed this spring to permit outdoor dining, Carlucci reconfigured his parking lot and put up tents with tables.
Now just two weeks after Lamont’s Phase 3 increased indoor dining to 75 percent of a restaurant’s capacity, Carlucci chose to shut down for safety reasons.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I want to do what’s right for my staff and my customers. That’s more important and far greater then making a few pennies.”