Local bar owner speaks out as Phase 2 continues

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A bar owner in Eastern North Carolina is speaking out over the continuation of North Carolina’s Phase 2 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bars and other entertainment venues across the state have been closed for nearly six months.

The owner of Fifth Street Bar in Uptown Greenville says he’s taking his investment money to another state since North Carolina won’t reopen. Tony Frazier and his business partners are working to open a bar in South Carolina later this month.

Frazier says not being open has caused his Greenville bar to miss out on at least $100,000 in profit. He’s also had to lay off around 50 employees. Frazier is asking Governor Roy Cooper and other state leaders to stop playing politics with the reopening.

“He’s playing with people’s livelihoods. Mine, all the bar owners, bowling allies, movie theaters,” said Frazier. “It’s just wrong.”

Frazier says he’s willing to go above and beyond with COVID-19 prevention protocol. He wants the state to give bars a chance to safely reopen.

“We can have tables, we can clean, we can pass out masks,” said Frazier.

Despite the bar’s financial struggle, Frazier tells 9 On Your Side he’s not going to permanently close Fifth Street since it’s been a staple in the Uptown Greenville area for over a decade.

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