On Tuesday, March 23, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced that bars could resume alcohol sales until 2 a.m. on Friday, March 26. The cutoff for alcohol sales has been 11 p.m. since February 26. Bars in North Carolina have had a particularly difficult time during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
On March 17, 2020, bars shut down, along with restaurants, due to the pandemic. On May 22, 2020, bars inside restaurants, wineries, distilleries, and breweries were allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity, but standalone bars were not permitted to open their doors. The North Carolina Bar and Tavern Association (NCBATA) actually sued the North Carolina Governor’s Office for the right to reopen.
Finally, on February 26, 2021, those bars could open at 30 percent capacity, even though bars in restaurants were operating at 50 percent capacity.
With the latest updates from Cooper, bars will be able operate at 50 percent and the alcohol curfew will be rolled back. Bars will also be able to continue to sell cocktails to go.