Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill passed by the General Assembly that would have allowed bars in North Carolina to reopen. However, some businesses that are self-described as bars are opening up.
Gov. Cooper’s May 20 executive order, which moved the state into Phase 2 of reopening, stated that restaurants could open as long as they did not exceed 50 percent of the capacity for the building and set up tables to maintain a 6-foot social distance. Under the order, bars are not allowed to open.
In the order, bars are defined as “establishments that are not eating establishments or restaurants, that have a permit to sell alcoholic beverages for onsite consumption" and "are principally engaged in the business of selling alcoholic beverages for onsite consumption.”
A business that calls itself a bar, but makes 30 percent of its revenue from food and has a kitchen and inside dining area is classified as a restaurant according to state laws.
Pantana Bob’s, the popular sports bar and restaurant located on Rosemary Street, is one such local establishment that has been able to open up under Phase 2, despite calling itself a bar.