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Ricketts: Bars will stay closed through May

Local bar owner feels singled out
Posted at 6:44 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 20:19:55-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Restaurants and bars that serve food have been able to be open for about two weeks.

Those forced to stay closed say they could do the same distancing but aren't given the chance.

Specialty drinks, a fun atmosphere, and friendly faces are what make the Village Bar in Ralston a place that keeps people coming back.

Owner Brock Hatterman says their carry-out cocktails are just what the doctor ordered.

“That's been going fairly well,” he said. “It's been keeping some sort of cash flow income coming in. In the last week or so it's slowed down a little bit since the places that serve food could open."

Since May 4, restaurants and bars that serve food could re-start their inside seating for the public, in a limited capacity. Hatterman says he knows of a handful of bars that have had people drinking for hours on end, not just having a meal and leaving.

"I'm really happy for those places that are allowed to start opening their doors and get going but I do not see the difference in me having 12 in here with a beer at their table or another place having 12 people in there with a beer at their table... and a plate of nachos,” said Hatterman.

Governor Ricketts says bars won't be able to open at all in May. If a place has a food license they can allow people inside. He says a busy bar isn't best for public health.

Hatterman doesn't understand how it's safe for some business owners to get restarted but it's not for others in the same industry.

"I can mandate the rules in place just as well as a lot of those other bars that happen to have food. So to me, it doesn't make sense,” he said.