Bars and restaurants prepare for new alcohol restrictions

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest days of potential profit for restaurants and bars.

But, Wednesday– the last call came early in the evening after the governor’s recent orders. Eyewitness News spoke with local bar owners about how the order is affecting their business.

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, but it’s quiet at The V Spot. Per the governor’s order, last call at local bars like The V Spot in Scranton came about six hours early tonight.

“The dance floor would be packed, all the tables would be filled, and where you’re standing would be just a sea of people. Year after year, Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest night out,” The V Spot co-owner Vinny Archer said.

This year, The V Spot is virtually empty. Two days ago, Governor Wolf announced an order suspending alcohol sales at bars and restaurants from 5 p.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday. A tough blow for bar owners like Archer.

“I understand the reason why it has to be that way, but none of us are happy about it,” Archer said.

Archer says they already sold tickets to a private, socially distanced live performance by “Nowhere Slow”, but the governor’s order forced them to close. The local band has played Thanksgiving Eve at The V Spot for more than a decade.

A tradition they didn’t want to break. Just hours after the announcement, they had a solution.

“We didn’t want to see the tradition die so he suggested that we do a live stream to try to raise funds for the people that have been hit the hardest by these shut downs,” Nowhere Slow bassist Will Clauss said.

With The V Spot closed to the public, “Nowhere Slow” still rocked out inside while NEPA Scene broadcast their performance live for the people at home. The band donated virtual tips from the live stream to their hometown bar’s staff of more than a dozen.

“I didn’t know what to say. I was floored by that act of kindness. Those guys have been playing here for 10 years, they’re our biggest drawing band and we couldn’t be happier to showcase them tonight to everybody that will see the stream,” Archer said.

When the suspension is lifted, the 25 percent capacity limit and other existing restrictions will still apply.

The show is over now but you can still watch the recording on their Facebook page. The V Spot will be back open Thursday.

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