MESA COUNTY, Colo.- In an executive order issued Tuesday, Governor Jared Polis says alcohol cannot be served in Colorado bars and restaurants past 10pm for at least the next 30 days.
On Wednesday, KREX 5/ Fox 4 confirmed with Mesa County Public health that because of the county’s COVID-19 reopening variance, bars and restaurants in the county can keep their current 11pm last call.
“The language in ours (variance) specifically says no consumption after 11,” said Mesa County Public Health Director Jeff Kuhr. “So what we’re finding is most places are having last call between 10 and 10:30.”
The owner of Charlie Dwelington’s, a bar in Downtown Grand Junction, tells us the pandemic, precautions, and county variances has shaken the industry to the core.
“It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced in my over 40 years in this business.” said owner Liz Sinclair.
She says a loyal group of regular customers has helped support the bar during this time, but the consequences of capacity regulations and reduced hours are showing.
“The backed up hours in terms of revenue, I’m going to say is going to impact us another 40 percent probably,” Sinclair said. “It’s significant.”
But Sinclair says she and her staff are adapting, and wants to remind the community to be courteous to restaurant and hospitality workers.
“Specifally for staff we ask that you understand that they don’t make the rules, or they don’t dictate what the law is going to be on any given day,” she said. “Wearing a mask is a common courtesy, keeping your distance, washing your hands.”
Although bars and restaurants are bringing in some business, Sinclair feels the long-term impact of the pandemic is yet to be determined.
“There’s no clear end in sight, nobody knows what the real parameters of this are.”