TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - There’s a big change to Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox’s order that closed down bars temporarily and allowed them to later reopen in September. The amendment to his order increases the maximum number of people allowed in a bar from 100 to 150 people.
“It’s a step in the right direction. We want to get back to normal more than anybody,” according to Bradley Wyatt, owner of the CopperTop in downtown Tuscaloosa. He feels this will help big bar owners who wanted more customers in their businesses.
“We could definitely tell people were ready to get into these places. It didn’t take us long to get to capacity with the new restrictions,” Wyatt continued.
These businesses are still required to reduce their interior capacity by 50 percent. Alcohol can only be sold to customers sitting down inside, per the mayor’s order. Customers are not allowed in unless seating is available. He says there’s a thirst in town for people wanting to get into bars.
“I did see a couple of lines develop pretty early and it’s really hard for us because we want everybody to come in. And you see we got room to hold more people. It’s just a real hard pill to swallow right now,” Wyatt explained.
He and other bar owners have suffered financially when the state closed the businesses this summer and when the mayor shut them down for two weeks to slow the spread of coronavirus. But this change helps. “We have lost a lot of revenue. This time of year is normally our peak season.”
We reached out to the Mayor’s office for comment. He was unavailable Thursday. The Mayor’s amended order went into effect at 5:01pm Thursday.