8 Annie Gunn’s employees infected with COVID-19

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CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – There’s sad news about a St. Louis institution. Annie Gunn’s Restaurant on Chesterfield Airport Road in the Chesterfield Valley, one of the area’s favorite eateries, has had eight workers test positive for COVID-19.

The restaurant looks abandoned after closing March 19, when all St. Louis County restaurants were ordered closed by the county health department in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A “Let’s Go Blues” sign over the door is a symbol of happier times and the restaurant’s place in the fabric of St. Louis.

There’s no word on the workers’ conditions but owners Thom and Jane Sehnert confirmed the news in a state on the restaurant’s web site.

Here is the statement:

“Taking care of our employees and customers alike is first and foremost in all we do. In compliance with the St. Louis County health department directive to close all restaurants, we closed our restaurant on March 19th. We have since learned that eight of our employees have tested positive for COVID-19. None of our employees experienced or reported to any management any symptoms prior to March 19th. We are relieved that no employees of our adjacent (Smokehouse) market, which has been closed since March 22nd, have reported symptoms. We are supporting our affected restaurant employees any way we can and wish them rapid recoveries. Our hearts are with all of our employees, who are family to us. We will be working closely with St. Louis County health authorities to take appropriate actions in accordance with their guidance and are conducting extensive professional disinfecting of our restaurant with industry experts. Above all, we want our customers to be knowledgeable of what has occurred and our heartfelt response in respect to all involved. These are challenging times for our restaurant family and community. Our thoughts remain with all those affected by this virus and the frontline medical professionals caring for those who are at risk. We miss you already and will miss seeing you in the coming days and cannot wait to welcome you back as soon as we can. Of course, we are devastated by these circumstances and will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers…Thom & Jane.”

“Who hasn’t been to Annie Gunn’s?” said Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation. “Every time you go there it’s a great experience. It’s great food. It’s a local institution. I just can’t help but think we’ve got to what we have to do. We’ve got to stay together … and we’ll get through this.”

“They’re just remarkable people,” former Blues player and announcer Kelly Chase, said of the owners. “I can guarantee you their first thoughts are, ‘let’s make sure our staff is safe.’ It’ll bounce back. They’ve gone through a flood (of ’93) and Thom was such a big part of rebuilding that valley…we’ve been going in there since the early days of the Hardees Iceplex when it was our practice facility and basically living (at Annie Gunn’s). For that family, we want to do the best for them when we can…their concerns right now would be about their staff and making sure they’re healthy because that’s one big family that he’s put together there. One big family that he’s put together there.”

Chase even stopped in with the Stanley Cup over the summer to celebrate the Blues’ first-ever championship.

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