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Business owners react to latest health order to close bars, nightclubs for in-person service

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 01, 2020

SOUTHERN COLORADO — Due to what Governor Polis says is a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases in Colorado, the state has ordered to close bars and nightclubs for in-person service for the month of July.

It's another blow to some local business owners struggling to survive.

The new order can be somewhat confusing. Bars can stay open for dine-in if they're operating like a restaurant and serve food along with drinks. However, for other businesses like nightclubs, the governor's new order is another huge set back.

Evan Hooton, co-owner of The Pirates Cove in Pueblo, said, "Pirates Cove - we actually opened last weekend so we were able to get in Friday, Saturday night."

After months of being shut down the bar and nightclub was finally able to welcome back patrons.

Hooton said, "It was a great response to being back open."

But due to Governor Polis' latest health order The Pirates Cove has to close its doors once again.

Hooton said, "As business owners we definitely want to be as aware as possible of the community's health and safety, but from a business side it is tough. Again, being closed for so long, being able to open for a weekend and seeing some of that light at the end of the tunnel."

He shared that the business does serve food, but it's not a primary revenue source so it wouldn't be worth it to open as a restaurant.

"Being a nightclub, for us, we're just going to have to close down and ride it out because we will have to end up spending more trying to redo that particular business structure."

While The Pirates Cove is struggling his other business, The Gold Room, an event venue in Colorado Springs, is allowed to stay open.

He said, "We serve lunches, we serve dinners, we do wedding events, banquets."

Being able to serve food - that's what's keeping a lot of bars and breweries functioning right now.

Jessica Fierro, owner/head brewer of Atrevida Beer Company, said, "We're partnered with Domino's which is...a couple doors down from us which is allowing us to remain open. We could also partner with food trucks...we wish the entire community and every single industry all the luck."

News 5 is still waiting to hear back from some of the nightclubs on Tejon in downtown Colorado Springs, but we did learn that several have a retail food license. In order to open they would need to operate like a restaurant and wouldn't be able to have dancing or bar games.