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On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Alabama Beverage Control Board announced that the 11PM cutoff for alcohol sales will expire. Keep reading to learn more about their decision and what it means for Birmingham bars and restaurants.
Late Nights are Coming Back
In July, we reported on the ABC Board’s resolution to suspend on-site sale of alcohol at bars, restaurants and clubs starting at 11PM each night. Like many initiatives these days, the decision was made in an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The idea was to originally cut off alcohol sales at 10PM, but to find a happy medium between a complete shutdown of serving alcohol and allowing the drinks to keep flowing until 2AM, they established a “last call” at 11PM.
If you’re someone like me who prefers happy hours over a late night, the 11PM cutoff didn’t seem like a big deal, but our local bars and restaurants were affected. Places that depended on late-night crowds were forced to pivot. It was another obstacle for establishments that were affected by coronavirus shutdowns to overcome.
ABC spokesperson Dean Argo says that the board understands the hardships that the restriction caused to businesses, but who would’ve thought we would be living through a global pandemic. It’s something no one wants, but in order to fight the spread, strict precautions were put into place to keep our community safe.
The ABC Board is now dropping the restriction beginning next week. From there, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will be the ones enforcing health orders such as capacity limits, social distancing and those handy-dandy face masks.