Triangle bars, yoga studios struggle to survive as they await reopening plans

Orange County News

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to announce Wednesday whether North Carolina will move on to phase three of reopening amid COVID-19 later this week.

Businesses such as bars and yoga studios are anxiously awaiting Cooper’s decision as many are struggling to stay afloat.

Mark Bateman is a managing partner of the Hot Tin Roof in downtown Hillsborough.

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Bateman was forced to close the doors of his bar back in March under the stay-at-home order.

As he anxiously waits to find out when he can reopen his business, he spends a lot of his time fixing up an outdoor patio where patrons will eventually be able to socially distance outside.

“We can get 10 people in this area and have them be six feet apart,” Bateman said. “That’s what we’re aiming for.”

Bateman said his business has lost $300,000 in revenue and he is hoping they can open again by October 1.

“I can’t see us staying in business if we can’t open up by then,” Bateman said.

He said they have decided to start selling T-shirts to bring in some money to help them stay afloat.

While he understands that COVID-19 numbers are still high, he said he does not understand how other businesses like restaurants and hobby shops can be open, yet bars cannot be.

“Why can’t they just put us all on the same playing field, let us all play by the same rules?” Bateman said.

Tiffany Pridgen owns Glow Yoga in Clayton.

She said she has lost 50% of her members since she was forced to close her business in March.

“It has been frustrating having to close the business,” Pridgen said.

Pridgen argued that it is time for yoga studios to reopen in North Carolina.

She said there is often no more than 10 people in each class and everyone uses their own equipment, unlike most large gyms.

“I think that once the decision was made to open universities and other businesses, I feel at that point, that we could’ve also been supported in re-opening,” Pridgen said. “I think that yoga studios are able to disinfect and socially distance much more effectively than many other businesses.”

If you would like to purchase a T-shirt to help out the Hot Tin Roof, go to their website at http://www.hottinroofbar.com/htr-store-front.php.

To donate to the Hot Tin Roof’s GoFundMe website, click on the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/reopentheroof

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