Breweries re-open, bars forced to stay closed as re-opening progresses

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -- Phase Two of the state's re-opening began Friday night, and while restaurants were allowed to re-open, bars still cannot.

According to the executive order however, breweries, wineries and distilleries are now being held to the same standards as restaurants.​​
"We're ecstatic. We're ready to get back to it," says Drew Cheshire, the Assistant General Manager at Uptown Brewing in Greenville.​

Under the restrictions still in place though, places like Bar 519 will remain closed. ​

"We keep paying the rent. My bills at home are still going, but there's no money coming in," explains owner Rob Waldron, who says he doesn't see much difference between bars and breweries.​​

"I've never seen anything different taken place at any of these breweries than I do here ​at 519 except for the product," Waldron adds.​

While downtown bars will keep their doors closed, just up the street, breweries are busy preparing for their customers to come back. ​
"We're going to go through the proper channels. We're going to load up on sanitizer, gloves, ​we're going to train our staff," Chesire explains.​

Waldron says though at some point things need to change sooner rather than later.​

"I mean this is getting ridiculous. At some point we just have to take it on the chin and, you know, we have to go out and live our lives."

Just like restaurants, under Phase Two breweries can operate at 50 percent fire capacity and groups must be spaced 6 feet apart.