Bars eager to reopen, frustrated ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Bars eager to reopen, frustrated ahead of Memorial Day weekend

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The downtown area, as well as many other parts of Savannah, are beginning to look somewhat normal with many businesses now operating again. But bars, nightclubs, and live entertainment venues are still not able to reopen.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has delayed their opening and one Savannah bar owner is questioning why.

In Georgia, people can sit at a bar inside a restaurant, but they can't sit at a bar that serves only drinks.

WTOC spoke to David Thorne, who is the owner of Aqua Vitae Lounge and Bar Bar in City Market. Thorne says in eight weeks, he’s likely lost around a quarter of a million dollars between the two bars. And with bills still coming in, he wants to know why he can’t conduct business.

Thorne says bars and nightclubs were forced to close before restaurants had to stop their dine-in services. Now, he says the governor has allowed restaurants the chance to increase their capacity of dine-in guests, but bars remain closed.

Thorne says he just wants to know why a restaurant can shake a cocktail but he can’t.

"I'm trying to run my business. I try to run a good business, a clean business, but I'm being stopped. Why? What's the difference,” asked Thorne.

Thorne says during the reopening process, Governor Kemp has said that he trusts Georgians are doing the right thing when it comes to taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He says he hopes the governor will trust bar owners too.

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