Vermont bars can now stay open later

Published: May. 29, 2021 at 9:09 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 7:22 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Bars in Vermont can now stay open past 10 p.m. for the first time in months and plenty of people were out this weekend to honor the lifted restrictions

Some bars chose to continue the 10 p.m. closing, while others like T. Ruggs in Burlington’s Old North End stayed open until 2 a.m. for the first time in months. “It felt great, just because we’ve been going through this for so long, and to see people having some sense of normalcy felt right,” said Mike Dunn, the owner of T. Ruggs.

Dunn says it was really busy, but people were still conscious of keeping space while still having fun. He says they are excited for a busy summer ahead.

But despite no more curfew, not every bar is making the switch to an early morning last call just yet. Over in Winooski, the Mule Bar’s general manager Troy Levy says they’re still closing at 10 p.m., at least for now. “We don’t want to turn the light switch on all the way right away,” Levy said. He says they’ll likely return to their pre-pandemic closing time of 1 a.m. in a few weeks, but they’re waiting until they boost their staff a bit more. “We’d rather wait a little bit, take our time, make sure we’re in a position to be successful as opposed to just letting everyone run wild.”

They’re also waiting for the construction at the Winooski Circle across the street to wrap up. “They’re on a three-week hiatus but that work was starting at 9 p.m. so it was a little less comfortable outside with all the lights and noise, but with that moving on for right now, I think is going to allow us to really open back up inside and outside and have a nice atmosphere,” Levy said.

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