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Some bars that serve food allowed to be open under governor’s COVID-19 shutdown

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TUCSON (KVOA) - When Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order officially enacted at 8 p.m. Monday bars and nightclubs were forced to close.

But it left a major question for local business owners - how does the order affect bars that serve food?

Most of the state's bars and nightclubs re-opened after Ducey's "Stay At Home" orders expired in May.  However, now there's a new set of rules affecting establishments that primarily sell liquor.

Despite the coronavirus, life goes on at "The Neighborhood" Bar & Grill on 29th Street and Alvernon Way.

Owner Daniel Cordova said they are still able serve food and drinks for pickup. However, with Ducey's executive order, most bars are not allowed to be open. 

"I would say it's going to affect us quite a bit, but it's for the good of the community," Daniel Cordoba, the Neighborhood owner said.

The executive order said that bars holding a "Series 6" or "Series 7" liquor license cannot be open.

These two series of liquor licesne fall under the category of a "full bar" and "beer and wine" bar license.

Jesus Bonillas, the co-owner of American Eat Company, said they have closed their bar, at least for patrons who want to sit down indoors to enjoy a drink. 

Bonillas said the American Eat Company has a  "Series 12" liquor license. For a "Series 12", restaurants licensed to serve alcohol can still be open as long as at least 40 percent of their sales are food.

"The bar doesn't really define the American Eat Company. This is more to have in addition to food options. We're not too worried about it. Ultimately, the big money maker here is the food and the bar is just kind of an extra if you will," said Bonilas. "It's a second wave now so we understand what to do. We're going to a more of a 'to-go program' for the bar. Restaurant will still be opening. Dining will be open. We'll do that for another 30 days with hopes that the numbers fall a little bit and people are a little safer, and people feel a little confident being out. "

Bonillas said during Ducey's first stay-at-home-orders, "we had a 'to-go program' (for alcohol). We also had a "to-go program" with a food court.  Now the food court dine-in will be open, and, there'll be a 'to-go program' with the bar, so that's going to be a little interesting."

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Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala is a 2-time winner of the prestigious”Edward R. Murrow Award” for his reporting/anchoring in news & sports. Paul Cicala has also been nominated for multiple EMMY’s. Cicala has won the “Best Sportscaster” category in Tucson the last 3 years (voted on by readers of “Tucson Weekly”). Cicala is a native Tucsonan who specialized in border stories during his earlier career as a news reporter in this market, and now concentrates mainly on sports stories (with an occasional special report and/or feature story on life in Tucson & the Sonoran Desert).

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