Bars gaining business after loosened COVID-19 restrictions

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Just one week after Governor Cooper loosened Coronavirus restrictions, local bars are seeing a major change.

Just last week, bars were allowed to open indoor seating capacity to 30 percent, serving drinks until 11 pm with no curfew.

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According to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot owner, Joseph Aperfine, the longer hours have marginally helped raised the revenue, though he is seeing more people go out for drinks later as opposed to before 9 pm.

But the main change he’s excited about is indoor seating.

“We didn’t have any indoor capacity, it was only outdoor seating,” said Aperfine. “So now we have 30 percent indoor capacity, So it definitely helps a lot so that people don’t have to sit out in the rain and sit out in the cold. It was hard to convince people to have cocktails when it was dumping rain outside.”

Like other bar owners, Aperfine is hopeful more restrictions will loosen soon. In the meantime, he’s installed a machine to take people’s temperatures at the door, still offers outdoor seating, and requires masks.