Riverside Foods to reopen Saturday after deep clean

Store closes early Friday after employee tests positive for COVID-19

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By Bob Uphues


Riverside Foods, 48 E. Burlington St. in downtown Riverside, announced on Facebook Thursday night that the store would be closing temporarily on Friday, April 24 for a professional cleaning after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

"We have consulted with the health department and our particular situation has been deemed a 'low risk' exposure, and we have been cleared to stay open," the store announced.

The employee tested positive for COVID-19 on April 23 and, according to a Facebook comment in response to well wishes from a customer, the employee was "in good health, safe, at home, quarantining."

The store conducted its own deep cleaning Thursday night, but was open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 24. On Friday afternoon, the store "scheduled a professional COVID sanitation cleaning."

The store is slated to open for regular business at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, but will close at 1 p.m.

"We're closing early tomorrow to give a reprieve to our employees, to give ourselves and our staff a break," said co-owner Peter Boutsikakis.

The store will resume normal hours on Sunday, Boutsikakis said.

Earlier in the week, the store asked customers via a Facebook post to wear face coverings while inside the store. Riverside Foods said it would provide a face mask and gloves to any customer who requested them.

Boutsikakis said that after consulting with the Cook County Health Department, which performs health inspections for the village of Riverside, the store was given clearance to remain open.

The store could have simply stayed open without informing customers, but Boutsikakis said he and his family chose to address the situation openly, so customers knew.

"We decided we're just going to be transparent about it," Boutsikakis said. "Ultimately the decision was we have a clear directive from Cook County and the village to stay open, and we have an obligation to provide food for the community. We wanted to give people information so they can make their own decisions."

The store continues to offer delivery to senior citizens on Tuesday and Thursday in Riverside and surrounding communities. It also offers order-ahead curbside pickup on Monday Wednesday and Friday.


Email: buphues@wjinc.com Twitter: @RBLandmark

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Reader Comments

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Ed Sel  

Posted: April 25th, 2020 1:24 PM

With all the corporate, big-box mega everything marts in the area, it's so terrific to have a local source for essential groceries. It's a walkable location for most everyone in Riverside and I hope they continue to be viable. Being open about this matter was the right thing to do. Some local troll would have revealed it at some point anyway.

Ana Guedea  

Posted: April 24th, 2020 5:48 PM

Riverside Foods is a great asset to Riverside

Darcy Lewis  

Posted: April 24th, 2020 4:58 PM

Riverside Foods has done everything right. Thank you, Peter and Co.!

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