By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Trousdale County restaurants, businesses and churches are adapting to the “social distancing” that has become a reality to many during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

On Sunday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive order requiring all restaurants to close their dining rooms and offer only drive-thru or carryout service.

The Mexican Grilled Cheese and Hartsville Taco Co. are each offering delivery service for the time being, according to their Facebook pages. Carryout orders are also still being offered at both restaurants.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Staff at Hartsville Taco Co. take a break from cooking to-go meals.

Jossy Rodriguez, the manager at Hartsville Taco, said the first day of only to-go orders “was not great, but still okay.”

Dillehay’s Café, on the other hand, said it was “very bad.” Owner Tamara Dillehay said she was considering closing up for the rest of the week but had not made a decision at press time.

The BBQ Shack on White Oak Street said via Facebook it was remaining open, as it is already a carryout operation.

“We will stay open and serving the best BBQ around as long as we are allowed,” owner Dwight Cothron posted.

The Minit Mart, Twice Daily’s and Highway Food Mart are each remaining open as they are convenience stores.

Bubba Keller, owner of Keller’s Restaurant, said his establishment would be closed until April 6. Keller’s Bar is closed as well, he said. Also, both China Buffet and Harper’s Early Bird Café have closed completely until further notice.

McDonald’s is offering drive-thru service while remodeling continues at its Hartsville location. Sonic, as a drive-thru restaurant, is largely unaffected by the governor’s order.

While no cases of coronavirus have been found in Trousdale County at this time, that has not stopped some businesses from temporarily closing.

The Community Pregnancy Center on McMurry Blvd. has closed until March 31, according to director Peg Shonebarger.

“Anyone with questions for the center or wanting to make an appointment may call 615-680-8026. Existing clients may participate in their classes remotely by calling the above number. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to serving our community soon,” Shonebarger said via email.

The Community Help Center’s thrift store is closed, although the food pantry remains open to customers on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Southern Shears Salon on River Street had a sign on its door stating the salon would be closed through April 6.

A number of area churches have moved to online services or have canceled services, including First Baptist Church, Hartsville Church of Christ, the Journey Church, Grace Baptist Church, Philippi Church of Christ, Hartsville First United Methodist Church and New Beginnings Pentecostal Church.

“We are working hard to provide quality worship, teaching and preaching videos online,” First Baptist said on its Facebook page. “We as a church family want to show God strong through this redirection of ministry efforts.”

“We are doing this out of respect and love for one another, and in order to protect each other from getting infected with the coronavirus,” Hartsville UMC said on its Facebook page.

Some church events have been postponed, including Hartsville Church of Christ’s Friends & Family Day.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]