Punch Bowl Social, the “millennial-oriented” adult playground in Arlington, reopened its Ballston location last week, and it plans to restart happy hour, Wednesday through Friday, beginning Wednesday, October 21. The “eatertainment” chain says it will offer diversions like arcade games, bocce, darts, and more in a socially distant fashion.
A press release promises welcome safety measures like checking employees’ temperatures, sanitizing keypads for bowlers, stationing tables eight feet apart, and requiring guests to wear masks while not seated at tables.
It also promises karaoke, with hosts wiping down the microphone and monitor speakers between guests.
Wait, karaoke? Doesn’t singing potentially transform an infected individual into a virus bazooka? After all, a choir practice in Washington state this past March was a famous superspreader event. The CDC says the virus can be spread by aerosolized droplets in the air and had cautioned against indoor church singing earlier this year before the Trump administration changed its guidance. Karaoke is banned in several jurisdictions, including California, Quebec, and New York.
It’s also banned in Arlington (and all of Virginia), county spokesperson Ryan Hudson tells Washingtonian, under Governor Ralph Northam’s Phase 3 guidelines.
A spokesperson for Punch Bowl Social tells Washingtonian the restaurant no longer plans to offer karaoke.