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Bars in Indianapolis reopening Tuesday under major restrictions

Posted at 1:36 PM, Sep 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 13:36:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — When bars and clubs reopen Tuesday in Indianapolis, they will have major restrictions and it will impact you.

Bars that are age-restricted to 21 and older and do not serve food have been closed for weeks, causing some to struggle to survive.

"I expect that we are probably going to lose 10 or 15 percent of small independent bars in Indiana when this is all said and done. And this still isn't over," Brad Klopfenstein, president of the Indiana License Beverage Association, said.

The association represents independent bars across the state.

"The pandemic has been crushing to our members," Klopfenstein said. "The small bars, they operate on a very thin margins to begin with. And they just don't have thousands of dollars in reserves to be closed for months at a time."

On Tuesday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett is allowing bars to reopen at 25 percent capacity. Restaurants that serve food are already open at 50 percent capacity.

"They can't understand why the guy down the street can do it but I can't do it and it's really really stressful," Klopfenstein said.

Shaffer Entertainment provides coin-operated entertainment devices for bars, bowling alleys, and movie theaters in Indiana.

"We are seeing bar owners and tavern owners, mom and pop bar owners, in Marion County that since the shut down the second shut down, they're literally telling us they may not be ever able to re-open again," Andy Shaffer, president of Shaffer Entertainment, said.

Business has come to a halt for them in Marion County, but say they are seeing an increase in other counties.

"We are seeing increases in our equipment in other counties," Shaffer said. "And we've got some testimonials from some of these customers that are up anywhere from 50 to 75 percent if they're close to the county line on the other side."

When the bars reopen, bar top service will be closed and dancing and live entertainment isn't allowed. Customers have to be seated at a table with no more than six people.