LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – As hundreds of local restaurants file suit against Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, some are saying they hope the new 10 p.m. last call for liquor sales will pay off in the long run. Chris Kline, owner of Pour House in downtown Loveland said he does not support the governor’s decision to cut liquor sales down by four hours per day, but said he appreciates decisions which could lead to a full return to business in the future.
As the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rockies and more return to professional sporting Kline was looking forward to having more liquor sales during televised sporting events. However, many of those games last past the 10 p.m. hour, and Polis won’t let any entity in the state with a liquor license serve after 10p.
Polis claimed cutting the liquor sales hours back could encourage people to make better decisions when it comes to socializing in large groups and spreading COVID-19.
“We are already held to a higher standard than most businesses out there. Now, with (shorter hours of liquor sales) on top of it, it becomes a challenge,” Kline said. “In the last few hours (of operation) we do about $1,500 to $2,000 in sales.”
Kline said, of the almost $2,000 in sales he does during final hours, more than 75% of that is in liquor sales alone.
“I’m going to lose about $3,000 a week during this time,” Kline estimated.
Kline said Polis’ shutdown of Colorado restaurants and bars for in-house dining cost him significantly. Since the reopening phases began he started to regain momentum, just to be hit by the new liquor rules.
“(During the initial peak of coronavirus) we had a 90% drop in sales,” Kline said. “We just got back to about 80% just recently.”
Pour House boasts of its longest happy hour in Loveland, and offers customers more than 70 different beers on tap. A cut to selling beer means a cut to his profits.
“We have a lot more incurred expenses because of (the virus). And, we have less sales and less ability to sell. That is the bigger problem,” Kline said. “With the whole 10 o’clock shutdown thing and later games, it is going to be an upsetting thing to a customer to say, ‘Sorry we can’t serve you another beer even though you are watching the game.’”
Kline said the cutoff will also cut the hours he can employ his workers as sales drop significantly at night time when liquor is stopped.
“I’m not overly happy. But, if we can get through this and we can get past it and back to completely open, that is the main goal right?” Kline said. “I just want my business back. I just want to get back to normal.”