Brickbats

Brickbat: I Drink Alone

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would have allowed bars and private clubs to reopen if they seated customers only outdoors. Cooper closed bars and clubs to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The bill would have also doubled the allowed seating capacity of restaurants by allowing them to seat at full capacity as long as half of customers were seated outside. Cooper is currently limiting restaurants to seating only at 50 percent capacity.

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  1. So the virus kindly sheds its virulence inside the friendly confines of a restaurant but rages at full strength inside a bar or private club?

    Speaking of which, how the hell can it possibly be legal for the state to close private clubs?

    Incidentally, for those not familiar with the culture of the state of North Carolina, the term “private club” doesn’t have the same connotation of exclusivity it might have in other states. Shortly before I moved away (so around 2005 or 2006), North Carolina passed a weird law mandating that all clubs become members-only establishments. Overnight at places where I’d formerly been able to drink or dance freely, I now had to carry a membership card. Naturally, club owners, who were anxious not to turn away business, kept membership fees nominal, but it didn’t help much: attendance plummeted. I have no idea if the situation has improved since then, but I doubt it. Traffic at bars and dance clubs around the country has been declining since the mid-Aughts. Americans just have so many entertainment options these days that the traditional venues stress struggling to compete for years. And that was before coronavirus. This pandemic — or rather the hysterical reaction to the pandemic — might well mark the death knell for a significant proportion of the industry.

    1. Last time I was in NC was for my brothers bachelor party; no club membership was needed in Asheville (2016). Utah had a similar rule for awhile too but I know they repealed it right around the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Games.

      1. Interesting. It’s possible that it was purely a local statute (I lived in Fayetteville) or, as you say, the law may have been repealed.

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  3. “I don’t know how you say that those are backed by science … where science says you can have someone go into a restaurant and order a drink but you can’t have someone go into a bar and order a drink,” Berger said. “I don’t know what that is, but that’s not science.”

    Election science.

    1. I have trouble believing that they can’t find a single black bar owner to say that this is like a knee on the throat of bars and private clubs everywhere.

      Too soon maybe?

      1. Open wider, mad.casual. January will be here quicker than you like.

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  7. It is not “election science”. It is not a conspiracy. It is just dumb. Obviously. I am very conservative of my potential exposure, because of my family having an at risk member, but I would feel comfortable in the situation described. Meanwhile in some states, sweaty, packed, indoor bars are opening, which I think is unwise. This is why Leadership at the national level, by the President for example, would have been nice, but with Toddler Trump in charge, I just want him to keep his mouth shut. All he does is incite and divide. So we have 50 states approaching this in 50+ different ways, with inconsistent standards, and no uniform way of doing anything. So we get stupid decisions. If you want to see stupid, look up how your local school district is planning for this Fall. It is a total shit show!

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