Bars and nightclubs can reopen at half capacity in most of state

Several bars and nightclubs reopened Friday at half capacity. Most of Indiana is now in Stage 4 of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s five-stage plan.

The Pint Room in Carmel is one of many bars adjusting to its new normal. Each pair of bar stools is spaced 6 feet apart and patrons have to sit at every other table. Open seating is also not allowed in the bar.

The Pint Room staff always wiped down the table tops after someone got up to leave, but bartender Ashley Torres said she is now cleaning every surface that could have possibly been touched.

“When a person gets up from a table, we are now wiping all the chairs, all the booths, all the edges of the table. Not that we didn’t wipe those before but that would be an end of the night deal,” said Torres.

So far Torres said she hasn’t heard any complaints about The Pint Room’s efforts to follow social distance guidelines.

“Everybody seems very happy to be here and everybody seems to understand the rules before they even come in,” said Torres.

However it’s only night one and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said she isn’t so sure everyone will follow the rules.

“If you ask me if I’m confident that the age group that will necessarily be partaking in staying at the bars for long periods of time that those individuals will do that. I don’t have that confidence necessarily. I hope that they will so that they don’t take something home to grandma or someone else in their family,” Box said during a Friday press briefing with Gov. Holcomb.

Torres hopes because the bar is no longer open seating for right now, she won’t have to deal with people crowding around it and if they do she says she’s prepared to ask them to leave.

“It’s kind of like cutting somebody off, we’re just gonna have to say it.”

Marion County is still a week behind allowing bars and nightclubs to reopen and will enter Stage 4 on June 19.