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Bars re-opening tomorrow at half capacity in the Mountain State

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Bar 101, Adelphia Bar and Grille, The Block, Sam’s Uptown Cafe and The Red Carpet Lounge are just some, of the dozens of bars that have taken a financial hit over the last two months because of having to close, due to the pandemic.

“Crazy,” says Paul Grecko, owner of both Sam’s and The Red Carpet. “I mean as crazy as it’s been for everyone else.”

Grecko was able to open both restaurants for half capacity dining on Thursday.

And tomorrow, he can open up his bars.

“It’s been a lot of work coming in here every morning and cleaning,” Grecko says.

There are new guidelines from the Governor’s Office that have been rolled out for this round of re-openings; which are centered around maintaining social distancing and reducing contact.

Some of the guidelines includes:

  • Maintaining 6 feet of distance between bar chairs and dining tables
  • No more than six people per group
  • No congregating
  • Establishing clear paths to the bathrooms
  • Limiting contact with guests

Now with bars re-opening for the first time in over two months, a big question is – if a ton of people come out, how will these guidelines be enforced?

“I think they’re letting each establishment govern that as long as you’re not busy,” Grecko says, adding when dining re-opened to 50%, they didn’t really have a problem.

“There’s only been one day here at The Carpet where we had an issue, and they just had to wait. We wouldn’t let them in,” Grecko says.

He says his biggest concern with the new guidelines – the curfew.

“I think they’ve been doing a good job of enforcing all the rules and compliances that we’ve had to follow,” he says. “But like I said, really the most important thing to me is extending those hours. As long as you’re running half capacity and following all the safety guidelines I don’t see why we couldn’t.”

Right now, bars can only stay open until 10 p.m., something that hurts places like The Carpet, which thrive on late night business.

So still some uncertainties, but so much excitement as the state continues to re-open. 

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