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North Alabama bars still adjusting to alcohol sales restrictions

Area bars, still reeling from shutdowns, are still figuring out how to handle the state's 11 p.m. alcohol sales cutoff.

Posted: Aug 31, 2020 7:35 AM

Some area bars say things have been difficult for them since the start of the pandemic and they’ve only gotten more difficult in August.

On the first of the month, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board banned the sale of alcohol at restaurants and bars after 11 p.m.

A man has a drink at Huntsville's Lone Goose Saloon on Sunday.

Mike Groce, the manager of Huntsville’s Lone Goose Saloon, told me that the recent rule made a difficult situation even tougher, but said they’re trying to figure things out to stay afloat.

“This is just a situation that, regardless of how much experience you have in this, nobody’s prepared for this,” Groce said. “This is just something that none of us have ever seen.”

When bars were able to reopen after the initial shutdown, Groce said things were starting to pick up at the saloon. But at the start of August, the new Alabama ABC rule was a bit of a gut punch to the bar.

“Those two and a half hours on Friday and Saturday night is the bulk of our business, so that’s been a pretty drastic change. It’s something we’re all dealing with on a week to week basis,” he said.

Groce told me he doesn’t understand why they set a cutoff instead of just shutting down the restaurants and bars, but added that he is very glad they didn’t have to close again.

“I don’t think we’ve suffered as much as some people have, but at the same time we’ve definitely taken some licks on this.”

Immediately after the ban went into place, Groce said the bar had to start playing defense, working to figure out where they could save money.

The first thing to go was the live entertainment they offer each weekend. Now, in an effort to try to get more people into the bar before the cut off, Groce told me they’re planning to have some acts this weekend in a new, earlier time slot.

“You know, everything’s a guessing game and you try something here and there, it works, it doesn’t work -- so you just kind of go from there and learn, but you know, the bottom line is we have to look out for our bottom line.”

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22988375
Mobile16788315
Tuscaloosa10235140
Montgomery9978197
Madison922894
Shelby727463
Baldwin661569
Lee651765
Marshall437249
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Limestone279730
Walker275593
Talladega263635
Cullman239925
Lauderdale218042
Jackson212515
Franklin203231
Autauga203030
Colbert198731
Russell19283
Blount191125
Dallas186327
Chilton185832
Coffee173211
Escambia172230
Covington171429
Dale166551
Chambers134343
Clarke133617
Pike132713
Tallapoosa131387
Marion107129
Barbour10129
Butler100240
Marengo100222
Winston91913
Geneva8617
Lawrence83732
Pickens83618
Bibb82514
Randolph82016
Hale75830
Clay73612
Washington73412
Cherokee73114
Lowndes70428
Monroe64510
Henry6436
Bullock63917
Crenshaw60330
Perry5856
Fayette56913
Wilcox56412
Conecuh56013
Cleburne5518
Macon53020
Lamar4745
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
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Out of AL00
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Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 241513

Reported Deaths: 3076
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby35564562
Davidson30982333
Knox1239889
Rutherford11502113
Hamilton11497105
Williamson689756
Sumner5900109
Wilson457756
Putnam432955
Montgomery408052
Out of TN390636
Madison371180
Sullivan354046
Bradley351923
Washington332649
Sevier329921
Blount327334
Maury316437
Unassigned28378
Robertson257741
Hamblen242248
Tipton230922
Dyer216329
Gibson212342
Hardeman185433
Coffee183223
Trousdale17587
Obion173021
Greene165451
Bedford165020
Fayette165022
Anderson164614
Dickson163619
McMinn158934
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Hawkins117024
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Johnson11277
Carroll112525
McNairy111127
Marshall11089
Rhea108317
Cheatham103111
Cocke101412
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Campbell9759
Giles93735
Fentress88910
Lincoln8523
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Henry77110
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DeKalb71117
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Polk49213
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