Highly popular chain of restaurants in The Villages closes amid COVID-19 scare

All three of the Cody’s Original Roadhouse restaurants in The Villages have temporarily closed their doors in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Owner/operator Allen Musikantow says he plans to reopen all three of his Cody’s Original Roadhouse restaurants in The Villages as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. The eateries are located in Lake Sumter Landing, Brownwood and the Mulberry Plaza.

Owner/operator Allen Musikantow made the announcement Friday morning. He said the difficult decision was in the best interest of his employees and customers, as the staff had reached the point where it could no longer walk the line between serving customers and their safety.

“There is no precedent for this outbreak,” he said. “We have been using our best judgment on how to continue to operate and follow the mandated procedures as they are issued by the state and federal government.”

Musikantow said his restaurants, located in Lake Sumter Landing, Brownwood and the Mulberry Plaza, had enjoyed record sales in recent week. But with the Coronavirus pandemic and the mandate from Gov. Ron DeSantis for restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity, business had completely dropped off. He added that unlike some other Villages eateries, Cody’s can’t easily covert to a takeout business.

“We are a sit-down restaurant,” he said.

Musikantow said he was up late Thursday night wrestling with the decision to close the doors, largely because he’s concerned about his 300 employees who count on receiving paychecks to survive.

“I really care about them,” he said. “I hate to see them out of work, but on the other hand, I also hate to see them and our guests exposed.”

Musikantow said he plans to reopen as soon as it’s deemed safe to do so and wants his customers and employees are top of mind.

“We hope we’re closed for a short period of time,” he said. “We want to be in the restaurant business.”

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