CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of Chicago bars and restaurants were forced to close down at 10 p.m. Friday night as stronger restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic went into effect again. It is all part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s effort to combat the virus.
“I call the whole 2020 year a disaster,” said Sluggers owner Zach Stauss “We have to do it to keep everyone safe and healthy so there is a 2021.”READ MORE: 3 Killed, 26 Wounded In Weekend Shootings Across Chicago
“Certainly going to feel a pinch in our business having to close early,” said Brad Balof of Sidetrack.
Owners and managers of bars and restaurants who spoke with CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross were mixed with disappointment and understanding after the City of Chicago ordered up a COVID curfew for nonessential business beginning Friday and lasting at least two weeks.
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For bars like Sidetrack and Sluggers that means that means alcohol sales stop at 9 p.m. Compared to a week ago, that amounts to at least four hours less selling food and drink.
For Stauss that hit is substantial.
“It’s about 80% of our business from 9:30 p.m. and 1 in the morning, so it’s really, really killing us,” he said. “It hurts.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Heavy Rain Causing Flooding, Dangerous Driving Conditions And Power Outages
“There are lots of things that people can be doing better,” Balof said.
But can they make things work for two weeks or maybe longer?
“We are going to have to. We’re going to do our best. We’ve been here at Sluggers for 35 years, and we want to be here another 35 years, so whatever it takes,” Stauss said.
“We’re just happy we don’t have to close our doors for good,” said Balof.
Stauss said this means servers and bartenders are taking home 80% less pay than they normally would.
This curfew comes as Halloween celebrations were about to begin at bars and restaurants.MORE NEWS: City Offering COVID-19 Booster Shots Starting Monday