UNB! News New England

Cambridge Bar Operating As Coronavirus Antibody Testing Site Shut Down By City

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A restaurant and bar offering coronavirus testing has been shut down. But they’re promising to get back to business soon.

Wit’s End in Inman Square converted their restaurant into a medical clinic offering antibody testing. But in less than a week, the city shut it down.

Restaurant owner Peter Stein partnered with his brother, a doctor in Manhattan, to begin offering the antibody tests last Friday.

He posted on social media that for $119 plus a lab fee, healthy people who believe they had COVID-19 could be tested.

Stein said they sanitized the restaurant and had experienced phlebotomists to draw the blood samples.

On Tuesday, Stein said the city shut them down with a “zoning use challenge.” The owner said the restaurant is working with the city and hoping to reopen soon.

Anyone who was already tested will still get their results.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the restaurant and bar couldn’t promote itself as a clinic because it is not licensed by the state.

Physicians are currently allowed to apply for temporary emergency licenses because Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency. The DPH said Stein’s brother Benjamin received an emergency temporary license, which is valid until the state of emergency order is rescinded.

According to the Boston Globe, Wit’s End was the topic of a recent City Council meeting. Alanna Mallon called the conversion “a little bit odd and quite honestly concerning” during the session, the Globe reported.

The Cambridge Inspectional Services Department said Wit’s End must remain closed until it receives a certificate of occupancy for new use in addition to other licenses or permits that are required.

CBS Boston

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