Iowa bars set to reopen at midnight

People eat at Caddy's in Council Bluffs on Friday, 5/1/20.
People eat at Caddy's in Council Bluffs on Friday, 5/1/20.(WOWT)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 10:24 PM CDT
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At the stroke of midnight, bars in Iowa can reopen at 50% capacity. We caught up with a few bar owners ready to jump back in.

In Council Bluffs, Third Base Bar is staying open late tonight because at midnight they can shut off their grill and focus on serving drinks only.

Hannah Roppe-Guerdet owns Third Base Bar and Grill. She says losing even a few hours every night has been the hardest on her business.

“We make most of our money from midnight to 2 a.m. That’s when all the people come in and do the shots and have fun and so we really missed out on that crowd,” said Hannah.

Once Thursday arrives, she’ll be able to employ more waitresses and bring her bouncer back. And they will all have new duties including making sure proper social distancing is taking place.

Since the Black Squirrel doesn’t serve food it has not been able to open until Thursday.

“Right! We’re ready to go. Everything stocked everything is clean. We remodeled and cleaned again,” said Nathan Verzal, co-owner of the Black Squirrel.

Deciding to open at half capacity took a lot of decision making. To run a bar you need to earn a profit -- and they’re not sure if they can do that with the current restrictions. They’re willing to try to get paychecks in the hands of their employees.

“I can tell you there’s no anxiety they’re ready to go back to work they’ve been sitting at home for 2 1/2 months and you kind of realize what you’ve missed and what you love to do,” said Verzal.

Both say their decision to open is met with mixed reviews, but they’re dedicated to serving those who want to come in the safest way possible and understand why some are choosing to stay home a while longer.

Most bars in Nebraska are still closed but are set to reopen on Monday with restrictions.