Bar owner worries about closing down after N.C. governor’s order

Phase 2.5 of reopening causes confusion for business owners

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The new Phase 2.5 order in North Carolina has caused a lot of confusion for businesses across the area. Some owners interpret the rules differently and decide whether to open or not.

Mecklenburg County came out with a clarification Wednesday hopefully making it easier to follow the rules, but the new order doesn’t sit well with everybody.

For many business owners like Jody Sullivan who owns the Roxbury in uptown Charlotte, what’s going on is getting far too real.

“Next weekend, it’ll be six months since we’ve been open,” Sullivan said.

And the point of no return, far too close.

“A month, month and a half. Two months at the most.” Sullivan said with a worried look on his face.

When the official word to shut down came in March, it hit this 80s-themed dance club hard. Sullivan says he keeps hoping for an end date to all of this when he can reopen his club, but trying to lock in a timetable where he can do that he says is like finding a unicorn.

“We have these rainbow dates that we have to look forward to. It’s going to be this May date, then it’s going to be this June date. Maybe the August date. Now we’re waiting on the September 11 date and no one is even talking about that,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan says the rules for Phase 2.5 are confusing at best.

Some businesses like Hoppin decided to stay open. That’s the same bar that made headlines when a young woman decided to drink directly from the beer tap while friends videotaped it, earning her a lifetime ban from the establishment.

Mecklenburg County released a statement Wednesday night saying they’re going to clear up the confusion by aligning local rules with that of the governor’s order.

Some of the highlights are that restaurants can still serve alcohol, mass gatherings limits will be slightly increased, and fitness centers as well as bowling alleys can operate at limited capacity.

But the punch to the gut for Sullivan is the rule that keeps bars, night clubs and dance halls like his shuttered.

“If we can just make it through this 2020 and try to survive. Like I said if the governor could just throw us a bone.” said Sullivan.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.