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Bar owners split on reopening, some to remain closed

Posted at 4:06 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 19:35:24-04

TULSA, Okla. — When Oklahoma bars and clubs are able to reopen, not all are going to be back in business right away. Some owners say it's much too soon to return to work, and they could be risking another spike in cases.

Owners like Vanessa Somerville, who owns Lot 6 in Tulsa, say they need to get back to work for themselves, and their employees.

"There’s no other income for a bar," Somerville said. "I’ve told them all that it’s up to them whether they feel safe and comfortable to come back.”

Somerville says she will introduce a system that allows staff to count the number of people inside at a time, making sure they're abiding by guidelines.

The art bar will increase its cleaning, and encourage groups to remain apart from each other while inside.

However, not all owners are on board with reopening just yet. Torchy Jane Wolfe will not be opening any of her six clubs, and urges others to do the same.

"What we need to do right now is stop and think, and the club owners need to stay strong," Wolfe said. “I feel like by opening the clubs this Friday, our numbers are really going to spike."

Wolfe says another spike could cause bars to have to close down for even longer, and income now is not worth that risk.

Bars that choose to reopen will be asking customers to socially distance, and wear masks as often as possible.

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