Bar owner reacts to extended alcohol restrictions during pandemic

Bar owner reacts to extended alcohol restrictions during pandemic

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Gov. Tate Reeves has extended his executive order mandating that bars and restaurants stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m. until Aug. 17.

Places like Mosaic Tapas Restaurant as well as The Beer House in Ocean Springs are not opposed to the extension and owner Kenny Williams said it is not the restrictions that are frustrating.

“As a business owner, the frustration is with COVID-19. The frustration isn’t with the realistic, practical expectations of businesses, particularly with business where people congregate,” Williams said. “We’re trying our best just to get this over with. That’s my only goal. Whatever next is, I want to get to next.”

Business does not stop because alcohol sales end at 11 p.m. Williams said he keeps the kitchen open and employees at Mosaic Tapas Restaurant & The Beer House must wear a mask the entire time they are on the clock. Tables are spaced six feet apart and customers are not allowed to gather around the bar.

”This isn’t very hard, right? We have to close at eleven o’clock, in terms of selling alcohol, but we don’t have to close our restaurant, right?” Williams said. “We try to maintain social distance. Everybody wears a mask. We sanitize after every use. This isn’t hard stuff to do, and if we were all doing it we’d be further down the road.”

Even though alcohol sales must stop earlier, Williams said it has not been tough to ensure everyone is following the rules.

I think everybody has been understanding. It’s in the public’s best interest for us to all do this stuff. Take this arrow now so we can get to, man I want football. I want to see the Saints play and I don’t want to just watch it on TV. I want to go to the game,” Williams said. “I want to get this over with. I’m ready for this nonsense to be over. So if the worst sacrifice we have to make is we have to go home at eleven o’clock, that’s ok too.”

The mask mandate for Harrison and Jackson counties has also been extended to Aug. 17, requiring that people wear a mask when inside of buildings unless eating or drinking.

For a breakdown of executive orders in Mississippi regarding COVID-19, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2020 WLOX. All rights reserved.