Wilmington restaurants react to alcohol sales curfew

Downtown restaurants react to Governor Cooper's curfew

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Starting Friday, restaurants will no longer be able to sell alcohol past 11 p.m. after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced a statewide curfew on Tuesday.

Kyra Tebo, manager of The Husk and Yosake in downtown Wilmington thinks it’s a good idea.

“It was a great call on his behalf; we think everyone doing the same thing and getting on the same page is going to be great for downtown,” said Tebo.

Some downtown restaurants have stayed open past 11 p.m. and Tebo believes that 11 p.m. is a good time to cut off alcohol.

“After that the sales of food do slow down a bit,” said Tebo. “There is a bit more unruliness and not so much social distancing after 11. So, we want to stop that...11 o’clock is a good time.”

Hell’s Kitchen in downtown has been open until midnight but doesn’t believe that one hour will make a big difference in business.

“After looking at numbers, it won’t be a huge effect on us,” said Hell’s Kitchen manager Andrew Flynn. “We’ve been fortunate to operate at the level that we have been. And, we’ve been doing it safely. One less hour isn’t going to do anything. If that’s what’s going to keep people safe from bunching up and not be able to social distance after they drink a little bit more late-night, that’s what we’re gonna do.”

Flynn believes if he’s allowed to serve alcohol, then the bars that have been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic should be able to do so as well.

“It’s not very even for the bars that can’t open up...the private clubs,” said Flynn. “I wish those guys could get back in the game and open up and be part of this new rule and open up until 11 o’clock. And, have to shut things down as well.”

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