CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte bar has been cited for reopening in violation of North Carolina’s coronavirus-related restrictions.
Pins Mechanical in South End defied the governor’s order by reopening Wednesday night. CMPD says Pins was cited Wednesday evening for being open in violation of COVID-19 related orders.
The bar has not been able to reopen with restaurants during Phase 2 of Governor Cooper’s order, which doesn’t allow for bars to be open.
Now, North Carolina will stay in Phase 2 of reopening for at least five more weeks during the coronavirus pandemic. The “Safer at Home” Phase 2 of reopening was set to expire this Friday, August 7. It will now last until 5 p.m. on Sept. 11.
The bar first reopened last week after months of closure, but around 6:20 p.m. on July 31, employees started removing furniture from outside and put a closed sign out front.
CMPD confirmed an officer spoke to the owner last week, when he voluntarily shut down the business.
In a statement the police department said:
“Our efforts have remained the same in that we work towards voluntary compliance with each member of the community through education and conversations, only resorting to citations and/or arrests as a last-measure.”
The popular bar is known for its many games including bowling, duckpin, and pinball. The games remained closed when the bar reopened, but new safety protocols were put in place for the day they can open them. The duckpin bowling was outfitted with UV light. Every time the ball hit the pins it went through the light, cleaning it before the next person picked it up.
Troy Allen is the CEO of Rise Brands, which owns Pins Mechanical. He sent a statement last week, reading in part:
“We truly care, we appreciate everyone’s support, your passion and individual opinions, we are simply fighting for our business, our team and the hospitality industry... especially since many resources initially offered to those in this industry are now depleted. Our teammates have nowhere to turn and we will continue to fight for them.”
According to a spokesperson, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said:
“Pins is not a restaurant. They have no permit to operate as one. I have talked with CMPD Deputy Chief Estes and he will have an officer go back out and enforce the EO which does not allow bars or arcades at this time.”
Pins has not commented about the citation from this week.