(WTVM) - The State of Alabama is cutting back on the time bar can serve alcohol, thanks to a recent vote by the Alabama Beverage Control Board (ABC).
“Busy,wall-to-wall, every table was full, every bar stool was full.” That’s what business used to be like at Happy Ours before COVID-19. But due to a recent mandate by ABC for bars to stop serving drinks at 11 p.m., owner Jake Forbus is afraid matters are about to get worse.
“Friday and Saturday nights are people’s date nights,” said Forbus. “Once they go out to dinner, say seven to eight o’clock and then there for an hour, then driving here, they miss our peak time which is now limited to an hour, maybe an hour and a half. So, yeah this is impacting us, extremely.”
The alcohol order has a 120-day limit on it and could be recalled at any time. The good news is that the change does not affect curbside or retail sales, meaning that the order is only effective for on-premise consumption like at bars, restaurants, and clubs.
Smiths Station Mayor Bubba Copeland said he disagrees with ABC’s ruling.
“It’s one of those situations where as an elected official, we had a curfew for a short period of time and it went over bad, really bad,” Copeland said. “I think this is going to be in the same situation. It’s going to be hard to enforce. The sheriff’s departments and police departments are going to have their hands full enforcing this.”
Forbus said while he understands that public health is a priority in trying to help stop the spread of coronavirus, he still has bills to pay.
“My question is, the people making these decisions, have they changed their lifestyle and lowered their income?” Forbus asked.
The emergency order is effective immediately but will not be enforced until Saturday, August 1 starting at 11 p.m.