New Guidance From Governor Roy Cooper Says Breweries, Wineries And Distilleries Can Also Open In Phase Two

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Zach Marquardt and Emily Zelko were excited to be back at their neighborhood spot: Graham Street Pub and Patio in uptown. They walked in when the doors opened at 5 pm.

“When we knew a place like Graham Street that we frequent often was about to open. We’re like let’s help them out, let’s come over and grab a drink. Bring some friends,” says Zelko.

A place that would normally be shoulder to shoulder on Friday night, now only allowed to have 75 people or 50% capacity. Owner Dimitri Maheras says they are following all the state guidelines.

“I’ll do the 6 feet of distance as you guys can see some of it spread out already just for the gas so they feel comfortable. Our staff will be wearing masks,” says Maheras.

There’s a similar set up at The Suffolk Punch on Griffith Street. The “new normal” where booths and tables are roped off, disposable tableware and extra sanitization.

“It’s been a roller coaster. We’ve just done our best to try to keep our staff safe and just try to understand as best we can how to look forward,” says co-founder of The Suffolk Punch Seth Stidham.

When Governor Roy Cooper initially rolled out plans for phase two, it was confusing if the guidelines included breweries. New guidance on Friday from the state says any businesses that produce alcoholic beverages for commercial sale off-premises will not be considered a bar. Adding breweries, wineries and distilleries are allowed to open. Bars must remain closed.

Heist Brewery is open. Charlotte Beer Garden, Wooden Robot and Unknown Brewing opting to keep their doors closed for now.