Bar owners reaction to extension of phase 2

Local

CEDAR POINT, N.C. (WNCT) – It will be at least five more weeks before we could see bars and theatres reopen in North Carolina.

Governor Cooper is holding the state’s reopening in phase two because of the spread of the
coronavirus.

Bar owners, like Paul Musco are frustrated with the state’s continuous extensions of phases.

For five months, the lights have remained out at his bar 34 North in Cedar Point. Before the
pandemic, he was serving hundreds of customers. Since March, he has not served a soul.

He wasn’t surprised about the extension of phase two, but Musco was hoping for positive news
from Governor Cooper, at least letting bars like his reopen outdoors.

He holds a mixed-beverage permit letting him serve beer and liquor — that limits what he can
do.

“We can’t open the doors up,” Musco.

He’s weighing his options to figure out what to do with his business, including changing his
beverage licensing to only serve beer.

The tune is different at Tacklebox Tavern in Atlantic Beach. COVID restrictions led Richard
Porter to change his business model.

Instead of selling liquor, Porter changed his license to only serve beer. At this time, breweries
and wineries are allowed to operate, but not bars.

“According to Governors’ rules we are no longer at risk for COVID as long as we follow the
same rules we would of as a bar but the ones that are being followed by breweries, tap rooms and
restaurants,” said Porter.

Porter believes local, not state officials should decide whether bars can reopen.

“To be judged the same way that Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill has been difficult,” said Porter

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