On August 21, Governor Jared Polis pushed back the 10 p.m. early last call he'd imposed on bars in July, to cut back on the sort of crowd behavior that could be contributing to the spread of COVID-19. But he only added an hour, allowing bars to serve until 11 p.m., which still leaves them three hours short of the time, and potential revenue, they enjoyed before the pandemic hit in March.
"We normally do 60 percent of our business between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.," says Sean Kenyon, owner of the Occidental, a favorite of industry employees who make the place a stop after getting off work at the many restaurants in the neighborhood — at least before the pandemic hit. "We're already going the extra mile, but nothing changes in the way we manage things after 10 or 11."
While Kenyon would like to see municipalities have more leeway in allowing exceptions to the state rules for local businesses, he thinks that bar owners should be held accountable when they don't follow the rules. And as Facebook commenters noted in response to our story about the 11 p.m. last call, drunks definitely tend not to follow the rules...kind of like COVID-19. Says Lynn:
This virus is SO smart! It now knows the difference between 10:01 and 11:01. Amazing!
When I was in my twenties, the worst decisions I ever made were after 10 p.m in bars.
You can't control a bar scene when patrons are highly intoxicated. You also can't clean properly before the restaurant opens again when all your staff is exhausted from working all day.
I’ve been to bars before this, and once people get drunk masks start coming off and social distancing goes to shit... it’s a risk for the small business and the health of their customers.
Just drink at home, dude. Problem solved. You can get drunk all night long at your place.
As Justice Ginsberg would say, this is "like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet"
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This industry may never recover.
What? Alcohol will always be a money maker. No question about that.
Have you been to a bar lately? What do you think of the 11 p.m. last call? Post a comment or email your thoughts to email@example.com.