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 30, 2020 11:28 PM
Updated: 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: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19441349
Mobile13271291
Montgomery8778179
Madison775480
Tuscaloosa7496119
Shelby584951
Lee582961
Baldwin516550
Marshall390944
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Elmore263247
DeKalb239120
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Limestone206120
Cullman188519
Dallas177426
Franklin175529
Russell17442
Autauga173825
Lauderdale168233
Colbert163626
Blount159415
Escambia158425
Jackson154611
Chilton153531
Dale135444
Covington134427
Coffee13078
Pike11879
Chambers115142
Tallapoosa114685
Clarke107717
Marion95729
Butler91339
Barbour8577
Winston73712
Marengo70820
Lowndes65327
Pickens65114
Bibb64210
Randolph63713
Hale62828
Lawrence60922
Geneva5995
Bullock59814
Cherokee59115
Monroe5818
Clay5707
Washington55613
Perry5407
Conecuh53111
Crenshaw53132
Wilcox53111
Henry4865
Macon48020
Fayette4438
Sumter43419
Lamar3632
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3396
Greene30315
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 187690

Reported Deaths: 2312
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30460452
Davidson26252298
Hamilton928791
Knox918175
Rutherford915088
Williamson516536
Sumner475896
Wilson341844
Putnam320139
Montgomery302244
Out of TN296825
Unassigned29145
Bradley289317
Madison280061
Sevier257015
Blount247723
Maury230923
Washington223935
Robertson219035
Sullivan212133
Hamblen188525
Tipton178118
Trousdale16517
Gibson160922
Hardeman154826
Wayne14905
Bedford132017
Dyer131813
Dickson123515
Cumberland117518
Fayette117418
Coffee116613
Weakley115719
Anderson115312
Henderson115322
Carter114728
Obion11389
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Greene112943
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Lawrence101211
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Haywood95418
Franklin9518
Lake9142
Roane8724
Carroll85819
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McNairy84218
White8139
Cheatham80610
Rhea79812
Hawkins78316
Cocke7419
Marshall7415
Overton7135
Smith69810
Johnson6752
Henry6139
Chester60910
Lincoln6031
Giles58017
Hickman5585
DeKalb55213
Crockett52919
Marion5187
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Fentress4713
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Campbell4314
Polk38210
Grainger3633
Union3471
Benton3349
Jackson3175
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Unicoi2831
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Humphreys2443
Sequatchie2293
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