Bar owners fed up with Governor Sisolak’s mandatory closures

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Bars and breweries are back to square one in the midst of Nevada’s coronavirus crisis.

Certain bars, taverns and breweries across the valley had to shut their doors or cover up their bar tops at 11:59 p.m. on Friday. They’re shifting gears yet again during this pandemic, and those we spoke to are fed up.

Griff’s Bar and Billiards had a huge pool tournament scheduled this weekend, but it was canceled. While they can stay open because they also serve food, the bar is off limits.

“It’s not right, it’s not fair,” said Griff’s Owner Mark Griffin. “I don’t think the bars are having that kind of impact on the growth of the virus.”

Griffin told 8 News Now part of his bar is brand new. The opening was delayed because of the initial coronavirus shutdown. 

“This side’s only been open three weeks. So there’s $300,000 invested in a room that’s basically empty,” Griffin said. “It’s a financial burden, it’s a big pain in the butt and we’re just trying to get a new business going.”

Governor Steve Sisolak says 50 percent of bars statewide failed their checks on mask-wearing and social distancing.

But Jonathan Fine, who owns several taverns around town, says the decision to do a blanket closure by county is wrong. This weekend alone, fine says his businesses have lost close to $200,000 total.

“We were following the rules,” said Fine. “There are a lot of taverns that are out there, they’re following the rules, at great expense to taverns, and I’d like to see those guys, as well as myself, get back open.”

That’s a sentiment felt by many.

“I wish they would make these rules and regulations a little more on a case-by-case situation. I know that might be too cumbersome, but they’re playing with people’s financial life or death here,” Griffin said.

Governor Sisolak says his decision to close bars again is based on advice from federal health experts. Clark County will have to hit certain criteria for testing and cases before they can open back up.

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