INDIANAPOLIS — Bars and nightclubs in Marion County are reopening once again. They were allowed to reopen briefly in July but were shut down again due to a rise in positive coronavirus cases.
The barriers on Broad Ripple Avenue were removed Tuesday afternoon to allow traffic after being closed since the end of May to give restaurants more room for outdoor seating.
DPW says the cost to block streets, parking meters and provide barriers was nearly a half a million dollars. That’s only the cost from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The final cost in closures won’t be known until the end of the year.
With the road reopening, it’s causing some businesses to limit their outdoor seating once again. While bars and nightclubs are asking if it’s worth it due to the strict limitations:
- 25% Capacity Indoor Seating
- 50% Capacity Outdoor Seating
- No sitting at the bar
- No Dancing
- No Live Music
- Must close at Midnight
“I’ll go with yes and no. Yes, because we need some sort of income coming in. And the bartenders need to make some kind of money… but unfortunately, I don’t think it’s enough but we’re hoping that it won’t last forever,” said Bartender and Manager at Landsharks, Yasmine Harvey.
Landsharks was forced to shut down right before St. Patrick’s Day, as soon as the pandemic began. Then opened briefly in July before getting shut down again.
“With the few tables that we did have inside that helped and we were able to get a little bit of money coming in. But that only lasted for three weeks,” said Harvey.
During that time, they couldn’t reach full capacity meaning they couldn’t bring back all their staff. The pandemic not only impacting the bank but also the overall landscape forcing Landsharks from a whopping 4,000 sq. feet to 2,000 sq. feet.
“We had to downsize unfortunately we couldn’t cover the rent for both places so when you come in it’s going to look a little different. There’s a big wall in the middle now,” said Harvey.
Coming off the heels of Labor Day, doctors expect a spike in cases in the next one to two weeks, even though they saw some good signs.
“What I did notice this Labor Day unlike the other summer holidays is I saw a lot of masks out and around,” said St. Vincent Ascension, Infection Prevention Medical Director, Dr. Christopher Belcher.
But the fight to slow the spread, isn’t over.
“Be aware, be aware of the people you’re around. Take care of yourself and take care of other people that you care about to,” said Dr. Belcher.
Landsharks hopes that by providing a good environment and encouraging patrons – they’re doing everything they can to get back to normal when the time is right.
“I want them to know that we are still here we want to give them the safest and funniest environment we possibly can. We do have so much hand sanitizer, all the precautions will be taken,” said Harvey.
But the fear of another shut down is still in the air.
“Of course, I never even expected it to last this long. Never knew how this was going to turn out. So, it’s scary to get shut down again for sure,” said Harvey.
Landsharks will use the first night of reopening to prepare. Instead, they’ll reopen tomorrow at 9pm giving them until midnight to make some cash.
The process for barriers being removed on Mass Ave will begin Wednesday.
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