ESSEX, Conn. (WTNH)– The Griswold Inn was closed on Easter Sunday after staff member tested positive for COVID-19, according to the owner Geoff Paul.

The owner, Geoff Paul, tells News 8 the restaurant chose to cancel around 350 reservations out of an abundance of caution after a wait staff member tested positive.

When News 8’s Dennis House asked Paul what the cancellations meant to the inn, he said, “350 reservations. It’s a very substantial and important day for us. And more importantly to me, it’s a day where families celebrate their time together. It’s just such a wonderful day. It has such a great, warm, and traditional feeling. So we’re very sorry for all those people who come to join us year after year. But we have to be safe, that’s the environment we are in.”

Food was packed up to-go and was on-the-house for disappointed diners.

“The food was ready and the kitchen staff was ready to go full speed ahead so that meant hitting the phones early and trying to get in touch with as many people as we could,” Paul added. “We did have some people show up but I have to say they were all very gracious; everyone understands these are the times we live in. People, while disappointed, just simply offered us their support. They were grateful for the food to go and promised to be back next year.”

Last year the Griswold Inn was closed on Easter due to the pandemic. They say they look forward to being back next year better than ever.