Bars, breweries and limited-service restaurants move quickly to reopen in Shelby County

Bars, breweries and limited-service restaurants move quickly to reopen in Shelby County

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - All over social media, bars, breweries and limited-service restaurants have been posting when they will be reopening.

It’s a milestone that also comes with guidelines now being put in place.

Rain or shine, limited-service restaurants, bars and breweries look forward to reopening.

“We’re opening tomorrow at 4 o’clock, we’re going to go back to our standard hours starting tomorrow those are pre-COVID hours,” said Clark Ortkiese, founder of Crosstown Brewing Co.

“We’ve been waiting to get open and hoping that they would loosen the restrictions up a little bit and it finally looks like they’ve been able to do that,” said Ben Pugh, Co-Owner, Meddlesome Brewing Co.

Tuesday, the Shelby County Health Department gave limited-service restaurants and bars the green light to reopen, with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place:

  • No sitting or standing at the bar
  • Alcohol must be served with food
  • Customers must be seated at tables
  • Dining is limited to two hours
  • Closing time is 10 p.m.

Pugh says the news was music to his ears.

“It was great, we were sitting in here, eating lunch watching the press conference, and you know they touched on bars, pubs, taprooms so were like, ‘Yup, green light, good to go, let’s do this, let’s make it happen,’” said Pugh.

Both Crosstown Brewing and Meddlesome were among the many businesses that were forced to close back in July, this time around they hope it’s for good.

“I’m hoping that it’s a permanent stay, that we actually get to stay open and maintain,” said Pugh.

“It’s been tough probably the worst part has been, you know we re-staffed once, we lost a lot of people in the first shutdown and then of course we lost a lot of people this time around,” said Ortkiese.

With the quick turnaround Pugh and Ortkiese say they’re working on getting their employees back in and on the clock.

“We’ve been down to one person just doing to go beer only so now it’s like hey we need people now,” said Pugh.

Health Directive 12 also allows hookah and cigar bars to reopen starting Wednesday, they are required to follow the same guidelines as full services restaurants such as closing at 10 p.m.

Health directive #12 can be viewed [HERE].

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