Roxbury Nightclub owner speaks about frustrations of not be able to open during Phase 2

Bar looks forward to reopening in next phase

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - While many businesses across North Carolina were allowed to open once the state entered Phase 2 of the reopening process, bars, nightclubs, and gyms were among the businesses that were told to remain closed.

The state entered Phase 2 on Friday, May 22. Phase 3 isn’t scheduled to begin until June 26.

Jody Sullivan, owner of Roxbury Nightclub in uptown, said he was prepared to open his club at the start of Phase 2.

"We've had a lot of faith in the governor and we were really let down when we were pulled out of Phase 2 which always included bars and restaurants," said Sullivan in an interview with WBTV.

He said he had been stocking up on sanitizer, prepping bartenders for new protocol, and moving furniture to promote social distancing. He said he has taken note of the local restaurants that have been able to open and serve alcohol to customers late into the evening.

"All of these restaurants have bars, so they're restaurant bars that are able to serve beer, wine, mixed drinks and shots and they're able to serve until 2 a.m." said Sullivan.

He said that because of the space his club has, he would be able to welcome customers and still allow for social distancing.

"We have a huge patio, two levels, there's plenty of room here to spread out, plenty of room to social distance if you want to, and that's how we were ready to operate," said Sullivan.

At Monday's COVID-19 press briefing, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper was asked about the reopening process and how it would progress in the coming weeks.

"The health experts are looking carefully at the numbers and the science and we will let the people of North Carolina know at the first of next week whether we will go into the next phase and if so, what that phase will look like," said Cooper.

Sullivan is hoping his business will be among those that are allowed to reopen.

"We're hoping we can make it before the end of June because the bartenders need to work, staff needs to work. There's a lot of people out of work right now and we're hoping to get open and get that done before the end of June," he said.

During Monday’s briefing, Dr. Mandy Cohen, with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, reminded the public that restaurants should still be implementing capacity restrictions and social distancing measures regardless of the time of day.

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