What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Drink up: Breweries, distilleries can reopen in Phase 2; bars still closed

Posted May 22, 2020 6:09 p.m. EDT
Updated May 22, 2020 10:31 p.m. EDT

— Breweries are allowed to reopen as the state moves into the second phase of its plan to reopen the economy, Gov. Roy Cooper's office clarified Friday.

The state moved into Phase 2 of a three-phase plan on Friday. The order allowed salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors and other personal care and grooming businesses to open at 50 percent capacity or no more than 12 customers per 1,000 square feet. Restaurants are also under the same restrictions, in addition to having to space tables 6 feet apart.

When the plan was announced, it was unclear if breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries would be included in that list, if they do not serve food. Bars were left out of Phase 2 openings with the executive order specifying that "businesses that are principally engaged in the business of selling alcoholic beverages for onsite consumption" are closed in Phase 2.

Breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries are able to open under Phase 2 because they are "principally engaged in the business of producing alcoholic beverages for commercial sale off-premises," according to an FAQ about the executive order. Those businesses, however, must follow the same requirements for restaurants.

That includes:

  • Limiting capacity to 50% or no more than 12 customers per 1,000 square feet.
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • Where people are seated at bars or counters, they should be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  • It is recommended that employees wear face coverings any time they will be within 6 feet of another person.
  • Signage must be placed so that 6 feet of spacing can be maintained at cash registers and other places people might gather.
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