While North Carolina restaurants have been able to reopen at half capacity, bars have not been afforded the same ruling. Yesterday, the newly formed North Carolina Bar and Tavern Association (NCBATA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of 185 businesses for private bars to allow them to reopen. Up until this year, North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission deemed most bars as “private clubs,” but were working to transition permits to “private bars” (Aren’t Southern liquor laws fun?).
North Carolina bars have been shuttered for 79 days. There was a brief period where bar owners could sell to-go cocktails, but that ended fairly quickly.
In a press release, association President Zack Medford said, “Despite our numerous requests, the governor’s office has offered no science or data showing that having a drink in a private bar is more dangerous than having a drink in a brewery bar, distillery bar, or even a restaurant bar.”
NCBATA spoke with the governor’s office on June 3, but then decided to file a lawsuit after the conversation “proved friendly but unproductive.”