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Old Market businesses adapting to weekend curfew

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 19:19:44-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Thursday, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert announced the city will have a curfew starting at 10 p.m. both Friday and Saturday evening.

The curfew is affecting businesses in the Old Market, as many rely on weekends as big days for business.

“It’s going to hurt a little bit but I would imagine that our businesses will open but will with limited hours to make sure that our patrons are safe and that individuals can enjoy the Old Market in hours that they can and they can still be home in time for curfew,” said Chip Allen, the president of the Old Market Association, in an interview with 3 News Now Wednesday.

“It limits our open hours...that is not ideal but we will do anything the city asks us today,” said Zac Triemert, the President at Brickway Brewery and Distillery. He said his business has been open for about three weeks and is planning on closing an hour earlier at 9 p.m. Friday, one hour ahead of the city’s curfew. He said he feels Mayor Stothert is doing everything she can with the information she has to keep people in the city as safe as possible.

“It’s so scary trying to figure out the best route to take being a business in the Old Market right now,” said Rebekah Pasqualetto, the owner of Vintage Ballroom.

She said her Saturday reservation was already canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but a Friday evening rehearsal dinner would still be going on, with limited changes to the event. She added the 10 p.m. curfew doesn’t interrupt business as much as an 8 p.m. curfew would but it is still another last-minute curveball for couples looking to celebrate their wedding.

“People dream of this day, sometimes their entire life,” Pasqualetto said. “It’s not the most ideal situation but anyone who is really wanting to get married will do so regardless.”

The weekend curfew is just the latest hit to Old Market businesses as they look to reopen following the pandemic. Many businesses were still boarded up Friday and both owners said they’re planning on doing the same.

“If we have to board up our windows that’s okay and if income is a bit slower than we like we’ll get through this as well because there are bigger things happening than me opening my doors at 10 p.m.,” Pasqualetto said. “COVID trained us how to deal with the stress and the closures and right now there is a larger thing happening that will benefit the community more. In the meantime, if we need to struggle a little longer and change hours of operation for a little longer...if the end picture is more equality for all, then it is definitely worth closing my door early.”

“We’re here for the community and we will do anything we can to support the community here in Omaha,” Triemert said.

Watch reporter Phil Bergman’s story in the above video.