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Tulsa bar recloses amid spike in coronavirus cases

Posted at 8:45 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 23:13:32-04

TULSA, Okla. — After a spike in coronavirus cases, bars in Texas and Florida are ordered to close. Here in Oklahoma, bars are still allowed to open; however, one local bar isn't taking any chances.

"Now is not the time to relax," said Lynn Robertson, owner of The Starlite.

When The Starlite bar in Tulsa reopened on June 1, it did so cautiously. You had to have a reservation and wear a mask.

“It’s incredibly hard on the service industry, restaurants and bars, to tell people that you have to wear a mask when they are coming specifically to put things in their mouths," Robertson said.

Robertson said the rise in COVID-19 case numbers in Oklahoma worried her. So, just two-and-a-half weeks after it reopened, The Starlite closed its doors again on June 17. Robertson said her staff was supported during their first shut down and would be so again.

“Knowing that my staff was taken care of and knowing that we could actually shut down and keep people safe was the best decision for us," she said.

Robertson said she feels for others in the industry who can’t shut down. She hopes something can be done to protect them.

“It would be great if there was some legislation or something else put down to make it more fair and more safe for everybody in this industry," she said.

Sitting in her empty bar on a Friday evening, Robertson hopes things will return to normal soon. Until then, she’s staying closed and staying safe.

“Our lives were spent on watching people dance and have fun and be social," she said. "And it’s great that people are able to get out, but what’s the fun of a bar if you can’t dance and you can’t have those moments and you can’t do that.”

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