BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Bar owners are feeling the impacts of the ABC board’s emergency decision to ban alcohol sales after 11 p.m. The ABC board made the decision on Monday, July 17. The order went into effect immediately but was not enforced until August 1.
For many bars that are open late, the hours before close are when they make a large portion of their sales.
“On the weekend, that’s where the big money is,” said Ryan Pryor, the owner of Sleek and HUSH lounge in five points.
Pryor said not being able to serve drinks from 11 to close forces him to lose out on at least 30-35% of business. The bars have re-assessed how they market, hoping to bring in more people at earlier hours.
“We’re doing day parties on the weekends, at Sleek and HUSH, and we’re just doing all kinds of special that we’d never do if we didn’t have to,” Pryor said.
At Black Market 280, they’re also seeing the impacts of the new ordinance.
“We normally close at 2 a.m., and we get a pretty heft service industry crowd that comes in here after they close their restaurants,” Rachael Moore, the GM of the bar said. “We didn’t see any of them last night.”
Moore said the pandemic has already cost them a lot of business, and now this new ordinance is costing them more.
“We understand the reason for it, it just hurts the business a lot,” Moore said.
The emergency ruling remains in effect until November 29th. The ABC Board can rescind the order before November if they feel the state is flattening the curve.
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