DENVER (CBS4) — It was the moment bar and restaurant owners had been waiting for. But they didn’t get what they wanted. Bars and restaurants will now be able to serve alcohol until 11 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.
Gov. Jared Polis confirmed the change at a news conference on Friday.
“We are glad to be in a situation where last call will be moved to 11 o’clock rather than 10 o’clock,” Polis stated.
Business owners had asked to push last call back to midnight.
Chris Fuselier owns the Blake Street Tavern and is on the board of the Colorado Tavern League, which is suing over the issue.
“We need every nickel to stay alive, we’re already devastated enough,” Fuselier said.
He says they have closed tables, closed counters and finally gotten sports back on TV. But now they must stop serving liquor while late games may still be on.
The governor expressed sympathy, saying he would like to see last call pushed back to 4 a.m. after the pandemic.
“Look I’m for extending it to four in the morning. I think it’s ridiculous that Colorado has a last call,” he said.
In July, Gov. Polis ordered restaurants to stop serving at 10 p.m., hoping to slow the spread of coronavirus among people in their 20s. Polis said that other states that allowed bars to fully reopen ended up having to close them — along with other businesses.
Polis said the decision to move last call to 11 p.m. was based on data showing fewer cases among 20-29 year olds, but says they are still spreading the virus.
Mike Redmond is 27 years old. He’s right in that age group and takes exception to being blamed for spreading the virus.
“I think as a whole we have been branded as the group that doesn’t care and I think that’s incredibly misrepresented,” he told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.
What bar and restaurant owners like Fuselier want is to see the proof that the hour makes a difference.
“It’s not like 11:01 we start dancing on tables, turn up the music loud and think we’re safe, that’s what so crazy.”
The 11 p.m. Last Call Order is set to last for another month.
One local restaurant owner spoke out about the possibility of closing tabs while the Colorado Avalanche may be in the middle of playoff games.