HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On Monday, the Alcohol and Beverage Control Board voted to stop all alcohol sales at bars, restaurants and entertainment venues at 11 p.m. The order will be enforced starting on Saturday night.
The ABC Board said it’s limiting alcohol sales as a means to stop the spread of COVID-19. ABC license holders are required to cease the service and sale of alcoholic drinks on-premise at 11 p.m. Drinking must end at 11:30 p.m.
“I can keep serving food and I do serve a lot of food here but my profit, the main thing is the alcoholic beverage part of it,” said Mark Komara, owner of Furniture Factory Bar & Grill.
Bars owners like Komara say they make most of their money after 11 p.m. through alcohol sales.
“I can’t stay open and have shows coming in here from Minneapolis, from Atlanta, from Miami or wherever they’re from, and be closed at 11 o’clock. I just can’t. I can’t do it. I can’t make the numbers work,” Komara said.
The ABC Board’s emergency order will allow these businesses in Alabama to operate in a semi-normal fashion but Komara fears it won’t be enough.
“I’m gonna have to cut my staff completely in half. I have employees meeting tomorrow at 3 o’clock and I’m gonna have to lay people off, furlough or whatever,” Komara said.
Right now, there’s no timetable on how long this emergency order will last.
Research shows that alcohol consumption can make it harder to think clearly which is why the ABC board says they believe people may be less likely follow CDC and prevention guidelines.