Recent spikes of COVID-19 cases have taken yet another toll on local businesses as the City of San Luis Obispo has closed down bars for the 4th of July weekend.
The City of San Luis Obispo says the rise in case counts, plus an expected influx of holiday visitors to the city over the upcoming holiday weekend, prompted their decision to close down the bars.
Deputy City Manager Greg Hermann says the decision was ultimately made by City Manager Derek Johnson, who is acting Emergency Services Director for San Luis Obispo.
“We're committed to taking action to keep our community safe right now," Johnson said. "The city has been advised by the county that bars are an area of concern for the spread of COVID-19 in our city, which ultimately led to the decision."
Bars without food service will be closed Thursday at 10 p.m. The Department of Alcohol Beverage Control labels these bars under license 48, or full-service bars that sell hard liquor.
In downtown SLO, these bars include McCarthy's Irish Pub, the Library Lounge, Bull's Tavern, and Frog and Peach Pub.
Restaurants with bar services like Luna Red and The Carissa will remain open.
“It’s pretty disappointing but also it's understandable with health concerns, people traveling in from wherever they’re from," San Luis Obispo resident Lindsay Hynes said. "The virus, we don’t want to spread it more, the numbers have risen. It’s a bummer but the health concern is definitely important.”
Blast 825 Taproom says they anticipate more guests this weekend even though they won't be open on Saturday in observance of the holiday.
BarrelHouse Brewing SLO will also be closing down this weekend, but the Paso Robles location will remain open.
While the holiday festivities may not be the same this year, the community still looks to celebrate this 4th of July.
“We’ll still find a way to celebrate the 4th together, whether it be at home celebrating with drinks but not at the bar," Hynes said.