ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Bars in St. Louis County are now operating under new guidelines in order to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page announced the new guidelines Monday, July 27. They went into effect 5 p.m. Friday, July 31.
Along with a 10 p.m. closing time, businesses must operate at a 25 percent capacity.
For Brew House owner Carol Fallert in Maryland Heights, that’s a more than 30 percent decline in revenue.
“it’s going to impact me significantly, very significantly, just the mere fact that we’re having to close at 10 p.m. is 30 percent of my already reduced business and that’s significant, and that was at 50 percent (capacity) and so we’re going down additional to 25 percent,” she said. “I’m losing business here, I’m losing revenue, my girls are having a hard time paying rent.”
The new rules have temporarily closed down the newly-opened food truck garden in Affton.
“It feels responsible and safe for the moment, we’re just trying to follow the rules and make sure we operate safely so that’s why we decided to close temporarily, we want to make sure that we don’t contribute to any kind of outbreak or increase in cases, that’s a steeper price to pay than losing a few dollars,” said 9 Mile Garden Managing Partner Brian Hardesty.
9 Mile Garden has an outdoor area where food trucks park and operate. They also have an indoor bar, The Canteen at 9 Mile Garden. Both venues are closed temporarily.
“It’s just a lot to juggle for that small amount of crowd, it’s really kind of not worth it, Hardesty said. “Having 50 people on the property, it just seemed a little silly for us, it wasn’t enough business for the food trucks.”
Hardesty said he is working with the St. Louis County Health Department and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page to develop a plan
“They’re basically talking about taking our outdoor space and figuring out what the occupancy of that is and allowing us to have 25 percent of that versus the 50-person gathering,” he said.
Fallert raised concerns about operating a bar during this newly-defined sports season.
“We’re getting into St. Louis Blues playoffs right, you’ve got a playoff game going, its middle of the third period and it’s 1-to-1 and it’s 10 o’clock, imagine that and then I have to ask all my people to leave?” she said.
These restrictions are not in place for St. Louis City, but if they were, Game 6 HonkyTonk Joint Manager Jeremy Binkley said their bar would have to shut down until the restrictions were lifted in the city.
“We’re not in a position where we can be at 25 percent capacity and close at 10 o’clock,” he said. “A 25 percent capacity means about 35 customers inside the live music venue.”
“Trying to survive on 35 people, everybody loves an intimate concert, but it’s not going to pay the bills if it becomes a regular thing,” he said.