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Newly reopened, Skipper’s Smokehouse closing this weekend for deep coronavirus cleaning

One day after its official reopening, the Tampa bar and music venue will close this weekend after a vaccinated employee became infected.
People check out Impulse on the dance floor at Skipper's Smokehouse in 2012. The venue, which opened in 1980 and closed in 2020, has officially reopened in Tampa.
People check out Impulse on the dance floor at Skipper's Smokehouse in 2012. The venue, which opened in 1980 and closed in 2020, has officially reopened in Tampa. [ LUIS SANTANA | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Aug. 6
Updated Aug. 8

Skipper’s Smokehouse, the beloved mullet shack and music venue, had been doing “soft” opening practice and had only been officially open for a day when it announced on its Facebook page that it will be closed Friday through Sunday to allow for deep cleaning and COVID-19 testing of employees.

A vaccinated employee contracted the virus outside of work and a few of the employee’s friends also became sick, which prompted owners to make the call to temporarily close the venue. “We are just doing what we feel is best for the staff and the folks we serve,” Skipper’s Facebook post said.

The more than 40-year-old concert venue, restaurant and bar has been shuttered for more than 10 months. It had doing quiet “soft” opening sessions for the last month and then announced this week that it will officially open its doors and be open just Thursdays through Sundays for now.

Related: Skipper's Smokehouse has officially reopened in Tampa

The Eric Lindell show has been rescheduled to Sept. 10. “Same time. Same ticketing,” the venue said.

“We knew reopening in this pandemic-ridden world would be a bit of a roller coaster,” the Facebook post said, “but we have our hands up, smiles on our faces, and we are buckled in for the long ride.”

Skipper’s already has a growing slate of concerts on its calendar, including the Red Elvises on July 24, a Tom Petty 70th birthday tribute on Oct. 16, the Reverend Horton Heat on Oct. 31, Donna the Buffalo on New Year’s Eve and venue favorites Southern Culture on the Skids on Jan. 15.

When it reopens next week, it will be open at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at 910 Skipper Road in Tampa. skipperssmokehouse.com.