LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Heading into the final days of 2020, Kentuckiana anxiously awaits the new year. However, with bars and restaurants still under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, ringing in 2021 is going to look different than in years past.
Bars and restaurants have been adapting all year to the ever-changing coronavirus guidelines, and New Year’s Eve will be no different.
"For New Year’s Eve, we were planning something pretty big. But we had to cancel that as well to stay within the guidelines,” said Max Bloom, the managing partner of Craft Culture Concepts, which covers multiple local restaurants including Parlour.
"The first shutdown was pretty emotionally taxing on not only small business owners but any business owner and employees. But now, we're starting to get to the tail end of this. So we're just hunkering down and hoping to get through it."
In Kentucky, bars and restaurants must function at 50% capacity. Last call to serve alcohol is 11 p.m., and doors must close by midnight. In Indiana, capacity and closing times are different by each county.
Parlour was originally planning a New Year’s Eve celebration and concert at its newest location in New Albany. However, all three locations will be sticking to regular hours now.
Other restaurants are offering special New Year’s Eve menus to attract guests before they go home to countdown to midnight from their couches. Some bars are offering specialty cocktail to-go packages to spice up the at-home NYE celebration. And other restaurants are focusing on New Year’s Day brunches for those looking to kick things off right in 2021.
Whatever your style, restaurant and bar owners hope the community support will not fade in 2021.
"This was a very trying year, but we're very optimistic for 2021,” Bloom said.
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