Rallying to Reopen

In Buzz, September 2020, Web Exclusive by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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WEB EXCLUSIVE Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement to move into phase 2.5 starting September 4 opened museums, playgrounds and gyms, but left out one industry that’s economically impactful to Raleigh and North Carolina: bars.

Ever since restaurants were allowed to open in phase 2 in early May, bar owners have been pushing for their establishments to be permitted to open as well. But complicated rules from the ABC commission and mandates from state officials have prohibited this from happening and bar owners are still waiting for the go-ahead from the governor, unable to do much besides sell cocktail mixes, gift cards and merch to make money.

On Thursday, September 3, bar owners and their employees from across the state took to the streets of Raleigh to make their frustrations heard. A large group gathered outside of the Governor’s Mansion with signs, chanting “save our bars,” in the hope that Cooper would take notice and allow them to open, too, in phase 2.5. The legislature has tried to pass measures to allow bars to reopen three times; all were vetoed and Cooper prevailed in a lawsuit challenging his authority to close bars during the pandemic.

Here are some images from the rally in downtown Raleigh last week; another demonstration is planned for Thursday.

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