Colorado Restaurant, Bar Owners Take Issue With Early Last Call, and Readers Respond | Westword

Reader: At Ten O'Clock Liquor Turns Into COVID Juice?

Will an early last call make a difference in fighting the coronavirus?
COVID juice after 10?
COVID juice after 10? Westword
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As of July 23, all bars and restaurants in Colorado must issue last call by 10 p.m. "Normally in our state, last call is two in the morning. Now it's going to be 10 p.m. statewide," Governor Jared Polis said in making the announcement. "Inebriation in public places is inconsistent with social distancing."

After he issued that executive order (it originally called for grocery beer and liquor store sales ending at 10 p.m., too, but Polis walked that back before the order took effect), EatDenver, the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Tavern League of Colorado sent a letter to Polis listing their concerns about this restriction. The next day, the Tavern League went even further, suing the governor and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which earned Blake Street Tavern owner Chris Fuselier some face time on CNN July 25; the group has a court hearing on July 29.

In the meantime, owners and consumers alike are debating the new rule. Says Jeffrey:
This seems arbitrary and pointless. So you can drink all day and into the night, but at 10 the beer turns into COVID juice?
Replies Nick:
Are we as a society really this dumb? They are not taking your freedoms. You are still free to put yourself at risk and get drunk somewhere. Just go home at 10. How many of you were out past 10 these days, anyway?

The other solution was to go back to how it was in May. As in no in-person service again. So 10 p.m. or nothing are the options.

Just, for the love of hops, follow the goddamn guidelines and behave or this gets worse.
Counters Walby:
I hope all the bar owners get together and fight back!! Communist rising!!!!
Responds Josh:
Bar owners already outsmarted them. They've been doing last call happy hour. You can buy buckets of beer, pitchers of beer, and pitchers of frozen drinks at a discount right before 10 p.m.
Notes Kevin: 
It's just for a month to try and keep the ballooning infection numbers down. I mean, we ARE in the worst pandemic of all of our lives. People keep forgetting that.
Suggests Steve:
 Pick up food and take home, celebrate that you are still alive.
Observes Chris: 
Handyman opportunity: installation of home bars in basements and in some cases living rooms. 
Concludes Aurora:
 I'm a restaurant manager and have definitely noticed that when people get drunk they get sloppy. I'm constantly having to chase around drunk guests to remind them to wear their face masks, or to socially distanced.

I think we need more PSAs to kind of show people why these rules are in place, and how social distancing and proper mask use looks in a public enclosed setting.
We don't know about PSAs, but the Tavern League lawsuit is getting some national attention. "We're the good guys in all this," Fuselier told CNN. "We're triple-regulated in this." The lawsuit not only takes issue with the 10 p.m. last call, but also capacity restrictions at bars; the plaintiffs have asked the state for the science that justifies the restrictions.

What do you think about the new last call? The capacity restrictions? Post a comment or email [email protected].
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