Alabama bars now allowed to serve alcohol past 11 p.m. as coronavirus restriction ends

That's because on Tuesday, the state's Alcohol Beverage Control board voted to remove the time limit put in place to clear out bars earlier and help fight the spread of Coronavirus.

Posted: Sep 29, 2020 10:38 PM
Updated: Sep 30, 2020 7:16 AM

For the first time in almost two months, bars in Alabama can serve alcohol past 11 p.m.

That's because on Tuesday, the state's Alcohol Beverage Control board voted to remove the time limit put in place to clear out bars earlier and help fight the spread of Coronavirus.

Now bars can stay open until 2 a.m. again, something bar owners say will help them make ends meet.

The owner of a bar called Furniture Factory says he's seen a 40% decrease in income since the original order went into effect August 1. Now he hopes his employees can make up that money.

"We have always relied on a late-night crowd, people staying over late," said manager of Diamonds Sports Bar, Michael Stewart.

"I've lost close to 40%of our sales," said Furniture Factory owner, Mark Komara.

For almost two months, the patio at Furniture Factory has been mostly empty past 11 p.m.

"That's where I do a lot of my business," said Komara.

Employees at bars all over North Alabama struggled to make ends meet.

"It was a little bit of a hard hit for me as a bartender, and for my family," said Stewart.

With the previous order to stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m., adjustments had to be made.

"People who work here all the time, gave up their shifts for others," said Komara.

Now the sound of drinks being poured can be heard into the early morning hours again.

"I was kind of jumping for joy with excitement," said Stewart.

"It's like a Christmas present I guess," said Komara.

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An early Christmas present that will bring financial stability.

"They are going to be able to pay their bills," said Komara.

It's something Diamonds Sports Bar manager Michael Stewart says couldn't have come at a better time.

"It's nice to know that, especially with the holidays coming up, that I'm going to be able to take care of my family the way I need to," said Steward.

Masks are required unless people are sitting at a table, and eating or drinking, and the ABC board says social distancing should be enforced.

The ABC board says law enforcement will be checking on bars regularly to ensure they are following all guidelines

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