RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Signs telling people to vote covered the Plus Dueling Piano Bar in Glenwood South Monday night after they were shut down this past weekend.
After months with no business, bars in the area took a stand together to reopen Friday night even though Gov. Roy Cooper said not to.
The owner Tony Basford set up hand washing stations, provided masks, temperature checks, and opened at 25 percent. He was given a warning and told to close.
“Your safety is extremely important to us. But, that being said, we also don’t want to lose our livelihoods. We’ve lost over a million dollars and we have absolutely no clue if we’re talking about two weeks, two months or two years. Just talk to us tell us what’s going on,” said Tony Basford, Owner of Plus Dueling Piano Bar.
Basford said he’s not trying to get rich by reopening. He said he is only hoping to make enough to pay the bar’s monthly rent.
An attorney for some of the bars on Glenwood South argues that the establishments were in compliance by opening as private bars or private clubs.
However, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin was not happy with the scene she saw this past weekend.
“The bar owners felt they were in compliance even though I felt they were violating the Governor’s executive order. They shut down Saturday after ALE provided a warning. I talked to several bar owners today. They indicate that they will not be reopening again and they will comply,” Baldwin said.
The mayor also wants to see more people wearing a mask heading into the Fourth of July weekend. She said the city will continue to enforce through education, which includes officers handing out business cards with information about the order and asking people to comply.
Any businesses opening in defiance of Cooper’s order could be cited.
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