BANGOR – Indoor bar services were supposed to reopen Wednesday, July 1, but that has been delayed indefinitely.
On a normal weekend night, the seats would be filled at local bars in Downtown Bangor, but it may be some time before indoor bar services open again.
“Usually, we have live music on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Bert Follero, general manager of Sea Dog Brewing Company.
“Typically, let’s say before all this happened, Friday, Saturday nights, oh yeah, it’s very hard to find a table, a bar stool,” said Shane Lewis, a line cook at Paddy Murphy’s Irish Pub.
Last week, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said indoor bars present a higher risk for the spread of COVID-19.
“Indoor bar service typically features crowds, often in close contact with one another, often without tables or other ways of keeping people apart,” Lambrew said.
Although workers want to see these services reopen, they understand why the order is in place.
“I do think it would be helpful, but I think it’s more important to think about the safety of our patrons before we think about business and economy,” said Alexis Deveau, a waitress at Sea Dog Brewing Company.
“Being safe obviously comes before pleasure and you know, convenience,” Lewis said. “I feel like we’re all in this together. We’ve come this far.”
They said take out, indoor and outdoor dining and outdoor bar areas are helping to an extent.
“Even though we did open up for dining in, we’ve still seen a lot of people still ordering curbside and delivery,” Follero said. “We’re also doing dockside, which is something new, so a lot of the boats on the weekend pull up, and that’s been kind of fun.”
“I think business is really starting to pick back up,” Lewis said. “I think everyone will be okay, hopefully.”
Follero said business at Sea Dog is still down about 60% without late night services and tourists and hopes to see that change.
“I would like to have some guidelines in place soon, so that the summer isn’t a total loss for our bar patrons,” Follero said.