LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It was the final countdown, yet again, for hundreds of bars in Nevada.
The second shutdown of bars was looming on July 10 at 11:59 p.m. after Gov. Steve Sisolak mandated them to shut their doors after a statewide spike in COVID-19 cases.
The ambiance at the Huntridge Tavern shifted from its typical joyful Friday night to one of sadness among customers.
Both employees and customers were wondering when they’ll be able to get together and drink again in the bar.
Katie Alexander, general manager and bartender at the Huntridge Tavern, is devastated.
“I’m afraid for my bartenders, my cleaning guys. I’m afraid for myself too, I mean, this is a mom-and-pop place, it's a small person, is owned by one person, not a corporation, and I'm worried that we're not going to be able to reopen because we can’t make the rent," said Alexander.
She also aches for her customers. Some of them even told her goodbye before leaving.
“They’re heartbroken from a second time, you know? The first time is understandable, absolutely, let’s stop this virus from growing. This time, being singled out, they’re heartbroken, they want to be able to get off of work, come in, enjoy a drink and get a smile. It's a little hard to smile”, shared Alexander before cleaning the bar stools.
Customers at other local bars, including Stage Door casino, had mixed emotions as well.
For years, Lamonte Williams has been a regular at this local bar and he can’t wait to come back after tonight.
“It’s like a family atmosphere, so I pretty much know everybody, so I’m just going to miss seeing their faces. You know it is what it is. I know it has to happen but is a little sad moment,” shared Williams.
Both employees and customers know the day they can reopen will come, but they’re not sure when will that happen. Is a question that owners and management have too.
John Vizcarra, director of operations at Stage Door casino, said that he feels bad for the financial impact that this will have on his employees and the uncertainty that they will be living with during the next couple of weeks.
“If we’re going to reevaluate on the 24th, then our employees have to stay open for a quick comeback, but is it realistic that we’re going to be reopening on the 24th? After being closed for as long as we were and then reopen 10 days later, I don’t see it,” expressed Vizcarra.
At several bars, customers stayed inside until the last minute they were allowed, to get one more "cheers" in.