Restaurant, bar owners rejoice over return to normal hours
By Ashleigh Plemper
Farmer Staff Writer
Local restaurant and bar owners were tickled to receive an early Christmas gift after Gov. Doug Burgum signed an amended executive order on Dec. 22, that allows these establishments to resume normal hours of operation as the number of active cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have decreased throughout North Dakota.
“These businesses are an important part of our economy, and we’re deeply grateful for their efforts and sacrifices to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce active cases and hospitalizations,” Burgum said.
Since Nov. 16, bars, restaurants and other eateries have been closed to in-person service between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., as one of several statewide mitigation measures imposed by Gov. Burgum on Nov. 13, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Though take-out, curbside and delivery services were allowed, many area restaurant and bar owners felt singled out in the governor’s order. And now that the hourly restriction has been lifted, they’re rejoicing to go back to their familiar hours.
“With the great efforts, and personal responsibility of North Dakotans, the combination of the other mitigation measures we still have in place, and the promise and expanding deployment of vaccines, rapid tests and therapeutics, we can allow restaurants and bars to resume operating hours,” Burgum said.
“The first day we were open with our normal hours, we more than doubled our sales,” says Steve Brenno, owner of the City Bar in Watford City, of resuming normal hours on Dec. 22.