After 87 establishments filed to receive approval to keep their doors open longer during All-Star weekend this month, only seven were approved. None are standalone places that rely on visitors to keep their revenue and business afloat.
All 87 of those bars and restaurants filled to keep serving alcohol later until 4 a.m. for those looking to have a drink during the overnight hours while visiting. Now, they have to rely on normal business hours to try and make due.
The decision to only have seven places open later does not sit well at all with those involved with the places that were denied permission. It is also a decision that Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has now defended, despite outcry.
From WKYC 3News Cleveland:
In a statement released on Wednesday, Bibb says protecting residents and visitors of Cleveland in the time of COVID-19 is his ‘number one priority.’ “The pandemic has had a significant impact on the City and its public safety forces. While we want people to enjoy themselves, we must lead by example and put safety first,” he wrote.
Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin believes that the city is up to the challenge of allowing its estabishments to remain open later, despite the pandemic. “We have hosted these events before and they’ve turned out flawlessly. Council passed legislation allowing extended hours for “hospitality” to 4 am for “major qualifying events” such as the Republican National Convention, MLB All-Star Game, and the Cavaliers Championship Parade,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
It is clear that Mayor Bibb and Council President Griffin simply do not agree with not letting any of those 80 bars and restaurants to continue operations later with the All-Star game and festivities in town.
Here is Griffin’s tweet on where he stands with the decision regarding the businesses:
Not surprisingly, those running the establishments in Cleveland are upset with the decision. One managing partner at a restaurant on the East Bank of the Flats believes that the city is “just not prepared” to handle a big event with a pandemic continuing to take place.
“We pay taxes here as a business for our police force and the things that the city provides. They can’t pull it off. Don’t tell me we can’t pull it off. You can’t pull it off. And that’s a shame,” says Brian Gresham of Anejo Tequila Joint.
Many feel that not allowing them to remain open longer during All-Star weekend will only hurt the establishments even more as they continue to struggle since the beginning of the pandemic back in early 2020.
The only places that were granted permission to remain open later were the ones connected to the hotels, where likely the athletes and celebrities taking part or visiting will be staying.
There could also be more pushback as the days go on, especially from residents and visitors who could stay away if they can’t go anywhere they want to because of the denial for bars and restaurants to stay open and serve alcohol later.
Mayor Bibb acknowledges “how tough the past two years have been on local businesses” and that he understands “the frustration” while continuing to “support them in their economic recovery along with the rest of the City, as we come out of the pandemic,” he wants the city to be safe.
You can read more of Mayor Bibb’s statement here.
To read the entire statement from Griffin, click here.
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Article and Video Courtesy of WKYC 3News Cleveland
First Picture Courtesy of Barry Winiker and Getty Images
Second Picture Courtesy of Douglas Sacha and Getty Images
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