Bars in ENC making quick preparations to open again on Friday after governor’s order

Crystal Coast

(Ford Sanders, WNCT photo)

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Bars across Eastern North Carolina will be returning to some sense of normalcy starting Friday at 5 p.m.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order on Wednesday allows bars to reopen for the first time in nearly a year. Customers can come back but with restrictions as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Bars can serve 30% of normal capacity indoors while staying open until 11 p.m. Outdoor service is also allowed.

Employees at Half Time Pub & Grub in New Bern said they are excited to be able to bring in customers and stay open later. They say moving past the 9 p.m. alcohol curfew will bring in much-needed money.

But they also said it goes beyond dollars and cents.

“We have so many regulars here, people who come in everyday, and this is their home just as much as it is ours,” said Half Time bartender Laura Sparkman. “So it will be nice for them to be able to come back and spend time with us again.”

The governor’s latest executive order will be reviewed in four weeks, based on COVID-19 numbers at the time.

Crystal Coast bars also gearing up for reopening

In Atlantic Beach, 34 North is welcoming people back with open arms. This weekend, the bar plans on having food trucks and fun games along with live music, if the weather permits.

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