Bars, wineries enjoying expanded capacity thanks to fewer restrictions

NC businesses can operate at greater capacity

MINT HILL, N.C. (WBTV) - Bars, wineries, and other late-night spots are welcoming the eased COVID-19 restrictions thanks to Governor Cooper’s latest executive order.

Breweries, wineries, distilleries, and restaurants can operate at 75 percent capacity indoors and 100 percent outdoors.

Bars, lounges, and nightclubs are able to increase capacity to 50 percent indoors and outdoors.

“We’re happy, we’re optimistic, we want things back to normal the same as everyone else,” said Picasso’s Sports Cafe floor manager Bud Eller.

Located in North Charlotte, Picasso’s restaurant also has a full-service bar which means they can increase to 75 percent capacity indoors and 100 percent outdoors.

Eller says that means they can have 30 more people inside and 20 more outside.

Over in Mint Hill, Vinter’s Hill Wine Bar & Bistro General manager Colleen Ogrodnick says going up to 75% capacity helps bounce back from previous restrictions.

“We’re excited about it right, we have employees, we have customers that have really taken stock of what we’re doing and they’ve really supported us through this trial, but everybody’s in the same boat so it’s kinda nice that there’s a little leeway,” Ogrodnick said.

Right across the street from Vinter’s you’ll find Pour 64 Craft Tap Room & Growler Fill. Owner Sarah Brock says the eased restrictions are great for small businesses, but she won’t be able to expand capacity herself.

“We have a small space inside and out and if we were to change and add more seating we wouldn’t be compliant with the six feet social distancing so right now that didn’t really help us out any but we are happy to be open inside and out,” Brock said.

Vinters and Pour 64 are closing at 10 p.m. but Picasso’s is serving alcohol until 1 a.m. Eller says they will eventually serve alcohol until 2 a.m.

While there are later hours and more people, safety measures are staying the same.

This includes sanitizing surfaces and menus, mask requirements, and temperature checks.

“Everything that we’ve done under COVID we’re still doing it even though the restrictions are eased a little bit,” Ogrodnick said.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.