Businesses enjoy one more Friday night of warm weather

Published: Sep. 26, 2020 at 12:25 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - People were out and about enjoying the nightlife in Burlington. Max Akey, a worker at the Akes' Place bar on Church Street, says they’ve been able to keep up business with the eleven PM curfew thanks to additional outdoor seating.

“We’ve been having a lot of good business out on the patio," Akey said. “[It] allows people to come in parties where they’re keeping that six-feet distance.”

Other businesses like Ruben James, who don’t have outdoor seating, say they’ve had to turn away customers due to capacity limits and the curfew. Zachary Ward, the front-end manager of Ruben James, says they’ve had to pass up a lot of business.

“You know the time frame from eleven to two o’clock, especially on the weekends, Friday’s, Saturday’s, we’re turning away thousands of dollars in business," Ward said.

Customers on Church Street, like David Huber who was out with his friends, say they’re trying their best to enjoy the weather and the limited nightlife in downtown Burlington.

“You gotta get it while you can enjoy it," Huber said. “You know, and then pretty soon we’re going to get snow on the ground and that’s all going to be shut down.”

While locals like Peter Dinger of Burlington wish their favorite bars could stay open past 11 PM, they say they understand the reason for these guidelines and would rather be safe than sorry.

“I don’t have a problem with it just because it’s more about safety," Dinger said. "You know, fun over safety, I don’t think that’s a thing, it should be safety over fun.”

“It’s always nice to have a lot of mixies with the boys up until the late hours," Huber said. "But at the same time, it’s different times and we need to change to the pandemic.

Both Akes' Place and Ruben James say they want to be open later in the evening, especially when the weather will remain warm and calm.

“We’ve been trying to encourage our customers to come in earlier," Ward said. "Just to try to get around, that 11 o’clock curfew, it’s just tough because people are going to stay out later.”

But they hope the consistently low rate of new COVID cases will mean a later curfew for their businesses in the future.

“We’d hope that in the near future, as long as cases stay low and things seem like they’re under control that we can be re-opened until two,” Akey said.

Copyright 2020 WCAX. All rights reserved.

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