ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–The 10 p.m. curfew was enforced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in November, after a surge in COVID-19 cases due to Halloween gatherings. The owner of Robbie’s Bar and Grill says this pushes people to having house parties instead.
“I hear all my customers, almost nightly [say], ‘alright whose house are we going to? Where are we going?’ And they’ll just take turns goin to each other’s houses,” says Robbie Tennant, of Robbie’s Bar and Grill.
Tennant says, it’s been challenging to run a bar that closes at 10 p.m. She and her business partner are not sure how much longer they will stay in Monroe County.
“We are also one of those restaurants that’s on the fence now because of these rules,” says Tennant. “We’re looking at Tennessee. We’re looking at Tennessee now to open a place to get out of New York.”
For Rusty Nickel Brewing Company, in Erie County, they were able to hold a patio party for the Bills game last weekend. This week, it will most likely be a different story.
“The 8:15 p.m. start creates a lot of confusion for those who are thinking ‘well I can go to this establishment, and they’re showing the game, and I’ll be able to stay for the whole time,'” says Jason Havens, the Owner of Rusty Nickel Brewing Company. “But that’s currently not the case.”
Havens adds that they’ve started requesting a holding fee for reservations.
“Now we have to tell each of those individuals, by phone, ‘be prepared that you may have to leave at 9:50, unless something changes.”
That hope for change stems from two factors. The first is the plea from the Erie County Legislature Minority Caucus to change the curfew time just for the game. The second is the lawsuit both restaurants are involved in.