SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - The easing of restrictions for bars and restaurants means alcohol sales will be extended until 11 pm and capacity can be increased. The owner of one bar/retail shop in downtown Salisbury will be moving cautiously when it comes to fully welcoming back customers.
Bottle & Can in Salisbury is a craft beer, wine, and cider to go shop with limited drink-in service because of COVID, according to owner Shannon Bergland. Bergland says the first year of business in her shop on W. Innes just about a block from the square, was great, but then the pandemic hit.
“We lost all of our bar seating, so we lost around 20 seats.” Bergland said. “We opened, things were great, but you usually in your second, third year, but because of COVID we’re completely flat straight, we didn’t get to really grow at all in our second year.”
The retail part of the business made it possible to keep the doors opened. And while she’s grateful some restrictions are easing, she’ll take her time before making changes.
“I’m really looking forward to that, but I don’t think I’m at the point where we stop wearing masks and stop being six feet apart, so it’s not going to affect me,” Bergland said. “Until we get to the end of this, because as long as we have to do that, nothing in my store changes.”
Today’s Executive Order lifts the Modified Stay at Home Order requiring people to stay at home and businesses to close to the public between 10 pm and 5 am. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 10 to 25, while 50 remains the limit for outdoors. The curfew on the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption will be moved from 9 pm to 11 pm.
Some businesses, including bars and amusement parks, will now be open for patrons indoors as they adhere to new occupancy restrictions. Many businesses, venues and arenas will have increased occupancy both indoors and outdoors.
Executive Order No. 195 has two general categories of occupancy restrictions: 30% capacity and 50% capacity. Because indoor spaces have a higher risk of spread for COVID-19, indoor facilities in the 30%-occupancy category may not exceed two hundred fifty (250) people per indoor room or indoor space.
“Today’s action is a show of confidence and trust, but we must remain cautious. People are losing their loved ones each day,” said Governor Cooper. “We must keep up our guard. Many of us are weary, but we cannot let the weariness win. Now is the time to put our strength and resilience to work so that we can continue to turn the corner and get through this.”
“Keep wearing a mask, waiting 6 feet apart, and washing your hands. We’ve seen in the past how fragile progress can be, so we need to keep protecting each other while we get everyone a spot to get their shot,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.
At the Sidewalk Deli, take out and limited seating has worked. Customers say they’ll be glad to see some restrictions end, as long as the state’s numbers continue to decrease.
“We all miss being able to do the things we normally do, be with our families and friends. As long as we’re going in the right direction, I think it’s great,” said Kathy Fisher.
Some restaurants that closed dining rooms months ago may now reopen them with a 50% indoor capacity. And even though bars can now serve indoors, Shannon says she’ll wait a bit.
“I just want to do what we have to do to get on the other side of this. I’m not ready to open too soon and have to close down. You have to be transparent and let people know. I can’t work through it,” Bergland added.