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Colorado bar, brewery owners hopeful they’ll be lumped in with restaurant reopening

DENVER (KDVR) — Friday is the last day for feedback on how to reopen restaurants for dine-in services in Colorado, yet hundreds of breweries, bars, distilleries and wineries are left wondering if they’ll be included in the mix. 

“We were a little unsure what was going to be included because it kept referring to restaurants, but it didn’t have an expanded scope,” said Room for Milly owner Fiona Arnold. She just opened the cocktail bar on Platte Street in Denver. 

“We’ve all dug ourselves pretty deep holes, digging into loans and cash and savings, anything we can do to stay afloat,” Arnold said.

She and several other business owners were on a call with Gov. Jared Polis Thursday, to give input on restaurants reopening for dine-in. After the call, Arnold says she’s hopeful venues like bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries may be lumped in with restaurants to let folks in for a drink.

“If they can set up the same way as a restaurant, then there’s really no reason why they couldn’t be subject to the same guidelines for reopening, and that’s essentially what he said,” Arnold said. “We’ll have to see what comes out.”

As for brewery owners like Ed Knudson, who opened Barquentine Brewery two weeks before the shutdown began, he’s trying to stay nimble and anticipate any guidelines, but would prefer some understanding of when and how long he can open up his doors to let people inside.

“We haven’t even put tape down on the floors yet, because we don’t know what those guidelines are going to be,” Knudson said.

A spokesperson from Polis’ office gave the FOX31 Problem Solvers the following statement concerning the timing for restaurants reopening for dine-in services:

“The Governor has said the state will weigh in on restaurants on May 25 based on the best available data and we are taking this one step at a time to continue to slow the spread of the virus while ensuring our economy can bounce back. 

The state will be carefully evaluating license types in terms of what constitutes a restaurant and what is not considered a restaurant and we will provide guidance based on the virus transmission trajectory. 

During Stay-at-Home and into Safer at Home, the administration has communicated with stakeholders, holding webinars and calls, and will continue doing so as the state considers changes moving forward.”

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