Positive Test At Another Restaurant Slows Business

Michael Riolo, owner of Michael’s AJ Texas Hots at 1265 E. Second St., said business has slowed after news of an employee testing positive for COVID-19 was reported at the similarly named AJ Texas Hots, also located in Jamestown. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

The owner of a Jamestown restaurant said business has slowed since news of an employee testing positive for COVID-19 at a different, yet similarly named eatery was announced earlier this week.

Michael Riolo, owner of Michael’s AJ Texas Hots at 1265 E. Second St., said he has noticed a drop in customers after AJ Texas Hots on Foote Avenue announced via Facebook Monday afternoon that a part-time employee had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has since been put in quarantine.

Owners of the Foote Avenue AJ’s have received word by the county Health Department that there was “no cause for alarm,” and that county officials were satisfied with the steps taken after the positive test result.

Nonetheless, Riolo believes customers may be confusing the restaurants.

“Since it was posted, I’ve seen we have slowed down,” said Riolo, noting that none of his 11 employees have tested positive for the virus. “We’re not affiliated with them — it’s just that people hear AJ’s and they think it might be us.”

Regarding the pandemic, Riolo said the restaurant’s drive-through has stayed open and that business has otherwise remained steady. “It hasn’t been too bad,” he said.


One new case of COVID-19 was reported Thursday by the county Health Department. The new case, a girl in her teens, brings the total to 154 within the county.

According to the county Health Department, there remains 19 active cases for those who continue to recover under orders from local health officials.

Further, there remains 301 county residents under quarantine/isolation. Not all of those being monitored are confirmed to have COVID-19 but have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results or have risk factors;

In addition, there have been 128 recoveries as well as seven deaths and 17,612 negative test results.


Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore is pleading for the public’s patience regarding the operation of the Jamestown, Dunkirk and Mayville offices.

On Thursday afternoon, he released this statement: “I know that these are trying times and many people are not happy with the new appointment system at the DMV, but this was an order from the governor’s office that we must abide by.

“We will make adjustments as we see the need to make the system better. People must understand that we have a backlog of people since March making appointments now so appointments went fast.

“I have heard from a few people who were disappointed when they showed up at the DMV without all of the needed documents and were turned away. It is imperative that people spend 10 minutes at www.dmv.ny.govfinding out everything they need for their appointment.

“This will make everything go much smoother for everyone. If you don’t have internet access, call the DMV and ask. If you can’t get through, email me several days ahead at barmorel@co.chautauqua.ny.us and I will get you the answers.”


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