New health order drops curfew in Sedgwick County, bar owners react

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Right in time for the weekend, Sedgwick County released a new health order Friday. The biggest change is that it dropped the midnight curfew that has been placed on bars and clubs for many months now.

“I was like wow, that’s exactly what we been waiting to hear really for the whole year,” said Mike Mansour, Manager of Heroes Sports Bar and Grill.

Mansour said the return of normal hours and staying open until 2 a.m. is when they find their most success.

“Those two couple extra hours are gonna make a big difference in our sales.”

After nearly a year of restrictions, co-owner of The Stop, Alan Brinkman says this is a needed relief.

“It’s huge, our numbers last year were down tremendously — almost 50%,” Brinkman said. “Luckily we prepared and had a little cushion, and we’re able to survive — I feel very bad for those that weren’t able to make it.”

Similar to many others, Brinkman feels this should have came sooner.

“It felt like we were targeted council members said on their Facebook, we’re going after bars and nightclubs,” Brinkman said. “And to be honest, we still feel like we were the scapegoats, but we’re excited to be out of that role and happy to move forward.”

Meanwhile, venues like WAVE are still waiting for their relief, pleading for some long term plans.

“Without knowing what it’s going to look like in three months or six months, we have no ability to book tours and book shows and to promote shows — so, having haphazard rules thrown randomly at us, doesn’t really help us,” explained Adam Hartke, operating partner at WAVE and co-owner of The Cotillion.

The new order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on February 27 and runs through March 20. Capacity limits are still in place for bars and clubs. There can not be more than 75% fire code capacity or 150 people, whichever is less.

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