Downtown bars packed during first Friday night since reopening

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Packed restaurants, cars parked along the streets, people walking up and down the streets. Those are just some of the scenes playing out Friday night after the health department lifted COVID-19 restrictions earlier this week.

Things are not completely back to normal on South Main in Downtown Memphis. There are certain restrictions such as the curfew. And while business owners welcome the influx of people, others still worry restrictions like the curfew will kill business.

“I’m just scared that in a way it’s a little too late right now. We should’ve been reopened a long time ago,” Daniel Masters told FOX13.

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Masters owns Silly Goose as said being closed for several months really hurt his business.

He’s owned Silly Goose on South Main for 12 years but said he doesn’t know how much longer it will survive.

“If we don’t start opening after 10 then it’s all for nothing,” he said.

While shut down, Masters said he’s relied on to-go orders which helped, but it isn’t enough.

He said employees are happy to be back, but things are still uncertain.

“We are running as a skeleton crew. They want to be back fully but it’s hard to spread the wealth when there is no wealth,” he said.

Meanwhile, customers are happy to be back.

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“As a quote-unquote regular, it’s great I get to hang out with my friends,” Derek Hardaway said.

Customers said they are getting used to the new normal, ordering food with their drinks which is now required, and doing all they can to support businesses in need.

“Even some places I know that have been around for years are closing,” said Hardaway. “It sucks and I wish we could get back to normal.”

It’s something everyone, including Masters, hopes to do to keep his business alive.

“There is a lot of people who are still nervous about coming out as well so if we can just make it in another month or 2 we will be in the clear,” Masters said.

If you’ve been to Silly Goose before, you know it’s very popular for its DJs and dancing. But that won’t be happening right now. People are not allowed to dance inside bars. Only outside and they must be 6 feet apart.

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