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Local bar reacts to new health order

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department announced a new health order will go into effect in Columbia on Sept. 18 at midnight.

Under the new order, restaurants and bars and other entertainment venues will be able to stay open until 10:30 p.m. The current order only allows businesses to be able to open until 10 p.m.

The new order will also lift a restriction on the sale of alcohol at 9 p.m.

John Schnakenberg is one of the managers and the booking agent for live entertainment at Dive Bar on Business Loop 70. He says the restrictions on time under the current order has impacted business.

"Allowing us to stay open till 10 but not sell anything for that last hour, it's like, why would we want to? We can't take any new customers so if there's nobody there we just have to close. It's an impact," said Schnakenberg.

The bar has worked to still allow bands to perform, but Schnakenberg said there is not the typical mingling after a band performs.

The bar had to adjust to keep business up as much as possible. It started selling breakfast at one point and even groceries for a short time.

He said he expects the new order to increase sales and traffic.

"Not having that restriction will help maybe bring people in and let them hang out longer instead of looking at the clock the whole time they're here just to see if they can still get another drink or some more food or anything like that," he said.

Schnakenberg said even though new orders keep going into effect with new rules, the bar and its customers have been doing their best to adjust.

He said customers comply with each order because they still want to be able to enjoy the bar.

"They like to hang out here too, you know? And they don't want to see us close so they'll have to do everything along with the rules or we just can't allow them in because we need to have our doors open," he said.

Under the new health order, if a restaurant or bar does not comply, it may be forced to shut down until it submits an operation plan to the health department.

Boone / Columbia / Coronavirus / Economy / Money

Sydney Olsen

Sydney Olsen reports in the evenings during the week and on the weekend.

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