Hill Restaurant Group says it will comply with coronavirus guidelines after mayor responds to defiant statement: report

The Hill Restaurant Group says it will comply with District coronavirus guidelines after the mayor responded to a defiant statement on Monday morning.

On Sunday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the new guidelines, which are designed to curtail large gatherings at bars and restaurants in the District.

READ MORE: No more bar seating, tables for more than six in DC restaurants, Bowser says

The new restrictions include the prohibition of bar seating, tables for more than six people and the operation of nightclubs entirely.

The restaurant group - which operates Finn’s, Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Lola’s, Orchid, Tortuga, Willie’s, and Ophelia’s Fish House - initially vowed that it would not change its operations.

“In light of recent developments, all HRG restaurants will continue to operate as normal and we encourage our fellow industry folks to do the same. We understand the gravity of effects that the Corona Virus has or will have on our community especially the hospitality industry. However, we will not bow to the Mayor’s Office or any group for that matter who covertly is attempting to shut us down.”

The mayor responded via Twitter, saying, “While I recognize that all of us have been stressed beyond our immediate understanding of how coronavirus has so quickly upended our daily lives and personal and business existence — you must comply with the DC Health notice.”

Owner Tim Johnson has since told the Washington Post that they will comply.

READ MORE: Chef Jose Andres closes DC-area restaurants over coronavirus concerns

FOX 5 has reached out to the HRG for comment.