Bar owners, bartenders sound off ahead of order for bars to temporarily close to slow spread of COVID-19

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Closing at 11:59 p.m.: That is what will happen to bars in certain counties of the state Friday night. Governor Steve Sisolak ordered bars statewide to temporarily close in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Governor’s directive includes stand-along bars, bar tops in restaurants, and bars inside casinos. However, if a business serves food, curbside pickup is allowed when approved by local leaders.

And when it comes to dining out at restaurants, drinks can still be ordered, but they must be brought to the tables by the wait staff.

The order takes effect right before midnight.

The state of Nevada released a list of the counties where bars, pubs, taverns, distilleries, breweries, and wineries are ordered to close temporarily. Clark County was on that list.

8 News NOW Reporter Joe Moeller spoke to the owner of a pub in North Las Vegas, who is frustrated by the decision.

Not only is the owner of Scoundrels Pub frustrated, but he says he also feels bad for his employees.

“You just cant take that financial hit, again and again, said Taylor Lilley, the owner of Scoundrels Pub.

Lilley says his staff were just getting used to a new normal with safety measures, but now they have to close again.

“We can’t recover, we are barely recovering from the first time, and now we got to try and recover a second time,” said Colleen Kasem, bartender at Scoundrels Pub.

The pub has been here for 26 years.
Bartenders can’t believe this is happening again.

“We have families we have to feed; we have bills we have to pay, our customers are forced to go elsewhere, it is not safe, not healthy now they have to go to casinos that are packed,” Kasem said.

After reopening the first time, the owner, Lilley, set up hand sanitizer, dividers, and required social distancing.

“We spent thousands and thousands of dollars it seems like we are being singled out and being punished,” Lilley said. “I do not know why they are not shutting down the businesses that are not compliant; they should be fining those businesses not punishing the entire industry.”

Lilley says without the games at the bar, staying open isn’t an option.

“Unfortunately, it is a little different this time, because other places are open, which is making us feel singled out,” said Lilley.

Pub regulars say it’s sad to see this once again.

“I have known the workers here for a long time; it makes me feel for them, you know? So last time they closed down, I put down some extra tips to help them get along,” said Richard Buchanan, a Scoundrels Pub regular.

Lilley says he wanted to make sure his employees know that he does plan to reopen the location when the Governor gives the green light.

Joe, what about bars inside Las Vegas Strip casinos and off-Strip properties? Bars inside casinos will have to close as well, but what many are wondering, including Lilley, is why casinos don’t have to close considering how close people are inside of those locations.

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