Bar-Restaurant Owner Speaks Out Regarding Recent Regulations Placed
With the recent bar restriction announced yesterday from Mayor Walt Maddox:
- All bars in the city will be closed for two weeks, from August 24 until September 8.
- Bar services at restaurants is also prohibited, for the same period, although table service of alcohol will still be allowed
- Maddox will petition the Alabama Beverage Control (ABC) Board to prohibit the sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption throughout all of Tuscaloosa County
With all that being said, is it unfair that crossover bar-restaurants can stay open while strictly bars have to close their doors until September 8th of this year?
I spoke with Patrick Fowler from Wheelhouse Pub which is a bar-restaurant, in regards with the recent closings of bars. Here is what he had to say:
Looking at the bar scene in Downtown Tuscaloosa, it's a culture of bouncing around and going from bar to bar. The recent mandates will effect the bar scene significantly. Being a cross bar-restaurant, it's truly unfair that we're able to stay open while other places are forced to close down till September 8th. I just wish that the city would've had council with all industry owners and managers. I reached out to speak with Maddox, and were given to the City Attorney. We still pitched ideas and solutions to the issue. I was told the he would be bringing these issues to Maddox and the City Council on Monday or Tuesday afternoon. Since the executive order was signed Monday night, we feel our ideas weren't heard. They may have been, but we don't know for fact or not.
In my eyes, I think it would've been more constructive if the city council worked hand in hand with both parties alike. Yes, it sucks that bars have to close and have to struggle for another 2 weeks -- but on the other hand bar-restaurants are less congested and have more sanitary needs for the patrons to be sanitized and healthy.
While looking at both sides, I think it's unfair for one to stay open and the other to be closed. The amount of money bars have lost last year and this year is probably the biggest pain in the ass of all time for the industry itself. Whenever they do open back up, make sure to tip well and treat the servers, bartenders and the drink runners with a ton of respect.