‘We’ll get through;’ bar responds to new closing time restrictions
Muldowney's Pub on Empire Street says they've been doing all they can to comply with Covid regulations and remain open.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Starting Friday, last call will be a lot earlier in the state of Rhode Island. Bars will have to close down early in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, according to Governor Gina Raimondo.
Muldowney’s Pub on Empire Street says they’ve been doing all they can to comply with Covid regulations and remain open.
“We’re trying to go along with everything that they’re asking to get people back to work, every safety precaution, and health thing that they’ve asked us to do, we’ve done,” said Owner Michael Greig.
But with new restrictions announced by the governor Wednesday, shutting down bars and bar areas by 11 P.M., Grieg tells ABC 6 it’s another hit they’ll have to take and hope for the best.
“It certainly won’t help business,” said Greig.
At her weekly press conference, Governor Raimondo said that state inspectors found 20 percent of bars still aren’t separating the bar tenders from the customers, and shutting them down altogether may be next.
“I’ve been trying week after week to avoid this and to strike a balance so folks can stay in business,” said Governor Raimondo. “There’s just too great of a percent of restaurants and bars that are pushing, pushing, pushing the limits.”
Greig says they’ll have to push through, but he estimates that customers that come in after 11 P.M account for about one-third of his business.
“Mostly just people getting out of work and looking to make one stop before they head home,” said Greig.
One regular tells ABC 6 he feels awful that a handful of bad actors are making things harder on businesses trying to do the right thing.
“I hope this is a shock to some people to get their act together because you’re affecting your other Rhode Islanders,” said Patron Michael Moore.
“We’ll get through this,” said Greig. “But this hasn’t been easy and something like this just makes it harder.”
The governor is giving bars a week to make improvements before possibly shutting them down altogether.
She says enforcement will be ramped up over the weekend and next week.