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Colorado bars can now stay open later in certain places

It depends on where your county sits on state's COVID-19 dial
New Colorado last call order
Posted at 8:42 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 08:17:37-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Many bars across Colorado are now able to stay open a bit later.

Before Monday, a statewide last call order restricted all bars to stop serving by 11 p.m. due to COVID-19 crowding concerns. But as of Monday night, there's a new order in place.

Under the new order, each county's position on the state's COVID-19 dial will determine how much control a county has over restrictions, including what time last call can be.

El Paso County currently sits at Level 1 on the dial, which means bars will be able to stay open until midnight.

Pueblo County currently sits at Level 2 on the dial. That means bars there still have to stop serving customers no later than 11 p.m.

At Rocky Mountain Brewery in Colorado Springs, things have changed a lot over the past decade.

"We went from a tiny end of this warehouse to owning the whole building," part-owner Nick Hilborn said. "The empty lot next door and the land the building is sitting on, so we've grown quite a lot."

And despite the way this year has gone--

"I was expecting it to be a lot worse," Hilborn said.

They've been able to do OK even when last call got pushed back.

"For my particular business here on the outskirts of town, I'm not getting a lot of midnight traffic anyway," he said. "But I bet for the people downtown, it's gonna probably help them out a lot to get that extra two hours worth of business."

Downtown at Jack Quinn Irish Pub, late-night business is a sizable chunk of their revenue.

"I would say about 20 or 30%," business manager Meredith Klube said. "We're just trying to keep the doors open at this point."

For late-night bartenders, tips have been harder to come by.

"That's cutting into a huge chunk of their sales," she said.

Now that last call is later, it's at least something to look forward to.

"I'm excited for midnight," she said. "I'm happy to see how that goes. Like I said the last couple weeks it's actually been getting better. Our late-night sales are actually existent."

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New dial shows each county's COVID-19 status