Restrictions loosen on Shelby County bars and restaurants

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Starting on Saturday bars and restaurants can stay open until 1 a.m.

The owner of Blind Bear Jeanette Comans said every hour counts especially now because more people are getting vaccinated and want to go out.

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“It is hard when everyone is happy to be out and you say you have to go home now, so every hour they give us is helpful,” said Comans.

Comans said it’s hard to believe that a year ago bars were forced to shut down because of COVID-19.

Since then, she’s made a lot of changes like adding a brunch menu to make extra money.

“Our people downtown, our regulars, my employees it’s been rough on them,” said Comans.

“It’s like hey I can’t have you work here, hey you can work here, hey were are closed, hey we are open and hey now we are a restaurant,” said Comans.

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The new health directive also allows 8 people from the same household to sit at the same table and removes the requirement for business owners to keep contract tracing records.

Still, Comans would like even more restrictions removed very soon.

“Until we lift 6 feet I’m staying below 25 percent capacity because of the 6 feet,” said Comans.

Overall, Comans is thankful for fewer restrictions and that her bar is still open.

“It’s been great that most people have been very understanding, that one day we will have no one here and the next day everyone wants to come,” said Comans.

Customers are still required to order food when they order a drink and wear a mask before they place an order.