East Bay Bar Owner Concerned About COVID-19 Curfew's Impact on Business

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It's been a week of bad news for restaurant and bar owners in purple tier counties. First, no more indoor dining. Now, a curfew that's going to cut into their earnings.

Starting Saturday, restaurants and bars will have to close their front doors by 10 p.m.

Aric Yeverino, the owner of the Dirty Bird Lounge in Hayward, The Libertine in Oakland and The Preacher’s Daughter Wine Bar in Alameda, worries that the new curfew is not only going to cost him money, but he may also lose bartenders and kitchen staff.

The new COVID-19 curfew will affect people gathering in late-night restaurants and bars. But many owners and workers of those businesses say they are the ones who will suffer from the early shutdown. Robert Handa reports.

"A lot of these guys aren’t coming back," he said. "A lot of people are getting jobs over at grocery stores or Amazon or whatnot where they have a little bit more job security."

Yeverino had big plans for December. With indoor dining off the table, he put down roughly $10,000 on building an outdoor patio for patrons at the Dirty Bird Lounge.

The governor's 10 p.m. coronavirus curfew puts many businesses that were already struggling, in a tough spot. Sergio Quintana reports.

"I was hoping to have it open at the beginning of December," he said. "Yeah, I signed a lease literally just yesterday."

Then came the curfew announcement. The early closing requirement will cut into Yeverino's weekend hours, which is when he sees the most customers.

"It'd probably be like a 20 to 30% drop at the very least for business on Friday and Saturday," he said. "The other days are already relatively slow."

The purple tier curfew runs through Dec. 21. Yeverino said learning to adapt to the evolving new rules is frustrating.

"I have quite a bit of whiskey in the back, so I’ll enjoy myself a whiskey outside because I can’t enjoy a whiskey inside in my own business," he said.

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