Governor Gordon announced Jan. 2 that bars and restaurants could resume regular 10 p.m.-5 a.m. hours of operations.
The announcement arrives none too soon, as these establishments have suffered major losses of revenue.
“We’re so excited, you have no idea,” said Ashley Evans, co-owner and floor manager of The Buckhorn Bar and Parlor, who is more than ecstatic to keep her doors open past 10 p.m.
Evan said she plans to fully adhere to all state guidelines to ensure her staff and customers are as safe as possible.
On top of constant sanitization and mask-wearing, Evans devised a plan to make social distancing possible, especially during the late night hours which tend to be the busiest.
Her bouncers will be required to maintain regular communication and keep count of all patrons entering and exiting the building.
“The biggest problem is the parlor,” she said, adding there is a 50-person limit in the upstairs bar area and everyone is required to remain seated except for retrieving drinks and using the restroom. This means no dancing … in the parlor. But it is necessary to keep everyone safe.”
Evans welcomes the resumption and said it’ll be nice to be open again.
The manager at the Library Sports Grille and Brewery, Juan Soto, said he doesn’t suspect the resumption will affect them that much because they were never a “late-night’ bar.
“I feel for [places like] Roxie’s and The Buckhorn and The Ranger,” he said.
He urged his employees to “be smart about what they do” regarding safe practices during social outings, but believes the opportunity for businesses to continue normal operation will help ease the financial hurt accrued over the less-than-festive New Year.
He added there is no certainty about what will happen once student return from break, but for now, he hopes people will take advantage of the order and go out to support those businesses.
“One month is enough time,” Soto said.