Wilmington breweries ready to open doors

Wilmington Breweries

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Breweries, wineries and distilleries had to wait right up until 5 p.m. before they found out they could open for business as part of the state's Phase 2 reopening plans, according to the Governor's Office.

For downtown Wilmington's Flytrap Brewery owner Mike Barlas, the decision is a huge victory.

“To put all that work into it and not be included at first was kind of disheartening," said Barlas. "Now finding out that there has been some clarification, that we are falling more in line with the restaurant classification and less of the bar classification is exciting.”

Barlas says Flytrap won’t be opening its doors this weekend. Staff will continue with curbside service while he works on a plan to reopen.

“Our preference is to operate in a way that is very safe so that we can continue to operate and keep things moving forward without having to take steps back,” Barlas said.

While works needs to be done, Waterline Brewery in Wilmington hopes to open on Saturday.

“We have been doing some planning," said Waterline owner Rob Robinson. "The DHHS did release interim guidance for restaurants and we were hoping they would use that so we have our beer garden and taproom spaced out to keep appropriate spacing.”

For Robinson, the biggest issue in opening will be having enough staff to make the plan work.

"The difficult thing is going to be doing staffing because it’s Memorial Day weekend and we didn’t find out 'till late and we had the staff on standby just in case we believe that we’re going to be open this weekend.”

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