LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Fans packed bars around the Las Vegas valley Monday night to watch the Raiders take on the New Orleans Saints. With many bar tops now back open in Clark County, they are hoping to make up for months of lost revenue.
“It’s awesome. It’s nice to kind of slowly get back to normal,” said Nathan Aronsohn, bar manager of Blue Ox Tavern. “We’ve been able to see a lot of regulars and familiar faces come back out.”
After months of being barren and blocked by caution tape, Blue Ox Tavern’s bar top was packed with patrons, all separated by plexiglass. The gaming machines, which are major sources of revenue for the local family-owned business, are also finally lit up.
“This is our profit center,” Aronsohn said. “It’s wonderful to have people come in and eat and drink, but it’s wonderful to have the bars back open. It really is; it’s night and day.”
Bars that serve alcohol without food, as well as bar tops, can now reopen in Clark County. The closures were lifted just before midnight Sunday night.
But some bars are having a slower start.
“It’s been pretty quiet, compared to what we thought it would be,” said Gary Lutman, manager of Griff’s Bar and Billiards.
Lutman says Griff’s staff put the bar stools back in place, but when 8 News Now visited, the gaming machines were still off.
“We expect that soon, to get the machines turned on,” Lutman said. “But so far, it’s just been a few people sitting at the bar eating, not a whole lot.”
Once things are good to go, Lutman says he expects the situation to turn around.
“I think our numbers can easily go up 30, 40% over time,” Lutman said.
And although it will take time, bars are ready to bounce back.
“Be able to have people at the bar, how it was a year ago,” Aronsohn said. “Just be able to have the camaraderie and the regulars that we’ve had come back and feel safe.”
Bars are making sure to do everything they can to keep people safe.
Blue Ox Tavern, for example, is putting colored cards at different spots on the bar top. Red means the area is reserved for social distancing or has not been sanitized yet. Green means you are good to grab a seat and order a drink.