North Carolina Arcades, Bars & More Are Back – Kinda


Arcades, bars, movie theaters and more are finally reopened in North Carolina as of last Friday, Oct. 2. However, such venues are limited to 100 people or 30% of capacity, whichever is less, and not all operators will be opening.

Also, according to WRAL, there are additional rules for bars, which cannot serve alcohol indoors. That means it’s outdoors only for them. Amusement parks can also operate at 30% capacity outdoors. Indoor rides and attractions must remain closed, but they can operate restaurants, concessions, gift shops and other indoor spaces.

All venues must also adhere to regulations on social distancing, mask wearing and sanitization. The statewide mandate for everyone 5 years old and above to wear masks in public remains in effect, as does the 11 p.m. cutoff on alcohol sales at bars and restaurants. Mass gatherings are also still at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

“We are not going to open,” said Amanda Laroque, owner of The Goat, a bar in Raleigh. “The numbers are just not there. For us, it would not be worthwhile. It is just another punch in the gut.”

Added Zack Medford, president of the North Carolina Bar and Tavern Assn., “While that is a small step in the right direction, over 75% of bars in North Carolina have zero outdoor space. We have to come up with a substantial way for these bars to survive, and opening just outdoors is not going to cut it.”


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