The North Carolina Bar and Tavern is partnering with organizers of the Save Our Bars Rally planned for Thurs., Sept. 10, outside the North Carolina Governor’s Mansion from 4:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The rally will urge Gov. Roy Cooper to allow the state’s 1,063 private bars to reopen under pandemic health guidelines—just like 6,000 other bars, wineries and breweries have been allowed to be open since May.

Private bar owners have waited in vain for the governor to explain why he authorized our competitors to sell beer, wine and liquor while forcing us to stay closed. Month after month has gone by without any change to this unfair policy. Bar owners have nothing left to lose: Cooper must immediately find a way for these bars to safely reopen or offer them immediate targeted relief.

The nonpartisan rally is open to the public. Bar owners, staff, musicians, entertainers, vendors, and small-business supporters are invited to join the event and show their support by wearing a mask and apparel from their favorite bar.

The North Carolina Bar and Tavern Association encourages attendees to bring visual reminders of the alcoholic drinks available for purchase from all various businesses except private bars. For example, some attendees will bring drink receipts, novelty glassware, and beverage napkins from the 85 percent of the state’s bars that are allowed to operate while we remain shuttered.

Attendees will bring signs to express their feelings about bars being closed for over six months with no end in sight. They are asked to refrain from bringing political campaign signs that distract from the protest’s nonpartisan message.

The rally will feature speakers from across the bar industry beginning at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. the group will march to the Legislature to signal the need for all of North Carolina’s leaders to stand up for the 1,063 private bars being forced out of existence by a discriminatory policy supposedly based on “science and data” that has never been made public.

NCBATA representatives along with bar owners will be available for interviews before and after the speeches.

Cooper’s unfair reopening strategy has forced private bar owners to bear the entire weight of the pandemic while turning a blind eye to the fact that alcohol sales have never been better for state-run ABC stores, or that the bars inside restaurants, hotels, breweries and the rest of North Carolina’s hospitality industry have been operating since May.

Private bar owners are ready and willing to open under the same NCDHHS health recommendations, including social distancing, mask mandates, alcohol curfews and capacity restrictions. On Thursday, NCBATA will release their health guidelines to allow bars to reopen safely. Bars aren’t asking for special treatment— they are asking for equal treatment.

SAVE OUR BARS Rally

Thursday, September 10

4:30pm-8pm

200 N Blount St

Raleigh, NC 27601

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