How does second bar shutdown impact Dallas County establishments?
After Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation on Thursday, Aug. 27 in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases, some restaurants across the Dallas County area will slightly alter operations while bars will be forced to temporarily close their doors.
This proclamation not only orders the closures of all bars but also taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries and night clubs across six Iowa counties, including Dallas. In addition, restaurants in these counties must refrain from selling or servicing alcoholic beverages after 10 p.m.
Restrictions from the governor’s proclamation were put into effect as of 5 p.m. on Aug. 27 and will remain in effect until Sept. 20.
“I'm very thankful we are a restaurant and do get to remain open during those hours. I feel so sad for my fellow bar owner friends that have to shut down again,” Amber Broeker of Ambro’s Roadhouse in De Soto said.
Broeker said that the new proclamation will only affect Ambro’s Roadhouse slightly as the establishment will have to close at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 9 p.m. on all other nights.
Jeremy Mahler of Nineteen14 located in Minburn has also said that business will continue operating as usual. The bar and grill is currently only offering to-go orders from their menu and has recently posted on Facebook that live music at the establishment will be postponed at this time.
“My employees have family and elderly parents. Everyone's comfort level was 'let's continue to be open but lets just do to-go,'” Mahler said. “Support Local, support local, support local. If you can buy something that maybe costs a percent higher but you are buying from a family in your community, that goes a lot further.”
In addition to the new changes, Pour Choices Neighborhood Bar located in Grimes has been deep cleaning every night, cleaning tables thoroughly between guests, and working to keep everyone spaced six feet apart. Owner Richard Andraschko said that although things are going okay, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Things at the restaurant have started to slow down now that schools are starting back up.
“We have had a lot of local support for our business. That means the world to us,” Andraschko said. “I try to say thanks to everyone that comes through the door.”
However, for local bars, such as Kenny’s Garage in Waukee, the new proclamation means once again temporarily closing their doors until Sept. 20. Jamie Spores of Kenny’s Garage said that even before the proclamation was issued there was still a percentage of the population that didn’t feel comfortable going to bars, and because of this sales, especially on weekends, were down about 40 percent.
In preparation for another potential closure, Spores has saved the money he received from grants and loans during the first shut down. Spores also says that he is looking at options to retool their business operations so that the bar can continue to do business as a restaurant in the future. Although, the bar currently doesn’t operate as a full-service restaurant with food production, Kenny’s Garage is offering to-go orders of alcohol, which can be placed through the business’ Facebook Page.
“It is unfortunate that the bar industry is being punished because a percentage of the population is being irresponsible,” Spores said. “Keeping active on our Facebook page, purchasing gift cards and buying to-go beer and liquor will definitely help through the next few weeks.”
Randi Boelkes of Twisted Corn Tavern located in Dallas Center said that one way community members can help support local establishments during this time is by spreading the word about their favorite places. She said that one of the difficult parts of reopening is getting the needed cleaning supplies and personal wear, which are often sold out or much more expensive than normal. Since last May, the restaurant has altered its operations to include half dining capacity. It also offers two full-service patios for its customers.
“The people of Dallas Center and the biking community have really shown the love this summer. We can't say enough about how much people have come to us wanting us to survive this wild time and finding ways to keep our doors open,” Boelkes said. “The more we talk about each other and build each other up, the more likely we will all survive these closures.”
Throughout the summer, the Twisted Corn Tavern has hosted a series of street party events, which will now end at 10 p.m. with the new proclamation in place. The restaurant currently plans to host its next street party on Saturday, Sept. 26 in honor of Boelkes’ birthday. Boelkes said that those interested are encouraged to bring their own chair and that all ages are welcome to attend.
“We don't think any thank you can say how we really feel about customers who bought lunch from us every day during the dine-out mandate, those who offered support when times were tough, the people who showed up the second we reopened for dine-in, the staff who were with us through it all, and the staff who returned and continue to carry us through the busy months,” Boelkes said.