Bowling alley portion of restuarant closed for not practicing social distancing

County closes down bowling alley portion of North Bethesda restaurant

Three Wheaton restaurants were fined

| Published:

The bowling alley portion of the restaurant Pinstripes in North Bethesda's Pike & Rose area was shut down last week by Montgomery County inspectors. Bowling alleys are not allowed to operate under phase 2 of the county's reopening plan.

Photo by Joe Zimmermann

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services shut down a bowling alley inside a North Bethesda restaurant last week, and fined three Wheaton restaurants for not maintaining adequate social distancing.

County inspectors visited Pinstripes, a bistro and bowling alley in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development, on July 29, two days after the county received a complaint, Mary Anderson, a spokeswoman for the county’s health department, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat.

Anderson wrote that the bowling alley portion of the restaurant was shut down because bowling alleys aren’t allowed to operate under phase 2 of the county’s reopening plan.

John Dina, the front house senior manager for Pinstripes, said in an interview on Monday that the restaurant and bowling alley reopened on July 17 after being closed during the pandemic.

Dina said the business tried to maintain social distancing by only allowing customers to use every other bowling lane. Additionally, a staff member would retrieve customers’ bowling balls and shoes using gloves.

“We’d always leave gloves at the shoe table and the bowling ball rack. And all guests in the venue would have to keep their masks on while wandering the venue. They could take them off while they were in the lane,” he said.

Dina acknowledged that bowling was not allowed during phase 2, which the restaurant staff was told during inspectors’ visit last month.

The restaurant remains open for limited indoor seating and takeout, Dina said.

The county has announced a number of fines and closures of businesses in recent weeks resulting from complaints from the public that the businesses weren’t complying with the county’s mandatory COVID-19 restrictions.

Anderson said no other businesses were shut down last week. But three restaurants in Wheaton were given $500 fines for not maintaining social distancing:

  • Hakuna Matata Grill at 2405 Price Ave.
  • Unplugged Restaurant & Sports Bar at 11305 Georgia Ave.
  • La Rumba Restaurant at 2311 Price Ave.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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