Some Tucson bars see drop in sales as COVID-19 cases soar

COVID restaurants and bars

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Bars in Texas and Florida are shutting down amid a surge in COVID-19 cases but Arizona hasn’t backtracked on its reopening. 

Some managers at local bars and restaurants say, despite remaining open, they’re seeing a drop in sales.

“When we first opened back up we were pretty busy and it just seems like every day it’s going down and down,” said Famous Sam’s bartender Briana Bloodworth. “We are getting slower and slower.”

She said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases is starting to hurt business for the Tucson bar.

Thursday evenings are typically a booming night at Famous Sam’s but Bloodworth said last night very few people visited, which led them to close two hours early. Monsoons Tap and Grill has noticed a similar drop in customers.

“We come up with a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C just depending on what’s going to happen,” said Monsoons Tap & Grill owner Daniel Liebeskind. 

He said business picked back up substantially when people started dining-in at Monsoons Tap and Grill again, however, the momentum faded over the past week. This comes as Arizona sees its highest day for COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and second-highest Friday with 3,428 cases. 

Liebeskind is watching as other states roll back their openings for bars and restaurants. He said he’s prepared in the event Arizona follows.

"We know what to do if he shuts down the restaurants again because we can still do takeout and we started delivering," Liebeskind said. "So we can do no contact delivery."

Bloodworth said the closures in other states is cause for concern.

"I fear we are going to be next," she said. "You know we just went two months with a shutdown and we're probably next."

At this point, she said she's planning for the worst.

"We're going to have to try to get unemployment and hopefully try to make it through," Bloodworth said.

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona offers a guide with information on small business loans and other resources. Pima County offers Coronavirus Pandemic Response Resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

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