Sedgwick County commissioners and bar owners discuss reeling back nightlife restrictions

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – “We are willing to work with you guys. We just don’t wanna lose everything,” Darren Greiving pleaded to Sedgwick County Commissioners.

The owner of Blu Nightclub was one of the bar owners meeting with commissioners on a Zoom call to discuss frustrations and possible solutions for current restrictions placed on bars and nightclubs.

Greiving says he feels like his industry has been made a target when many owners like himself are just trying to keep their livelihood.

“The bar owners I’ve talked to are 80% down in revenue. I mean we’re not trying to get rich, we’re trying to pay our bills to keep our doors from being locked,” he said.

“We’re in a spot now where we’re ready for you all to be really open, but we really need your help,” said Pete Meitzner, Sedgwick County Chairman.

Owners said one of the biggest issues has been the time restrictions.

“If we could just get open to 2 a.m. like our licenses say even at 50% capacity that’s better than nothing,” Sandra Scott said.

“Because that is when bars make their money, it’s like a breakfast restaurant being forced to open from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., it just doesn’t make sense,” Greiving said.

With masks and capacity limits in place, some owners like Scott believe it’s only fair to let them return to their normal hours.

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody by any means. We don’t force people to come to our establishments, they come on their own.”

Commissioners saying they will look at positive case trends and re-evaluate the health order on a weekly basis.

“It’s fine to talk about things but the action has to happen, and it has to happen now. Otherwise, some of us might not be here,” Greiving said.

The current health order is set to expire on October 21.

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