x
Breaking News
More () »

Denver's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Denver, Colorado | 9NEWS.com

Bars to file suit over new last call order; Polis calls the step 'absolutely critical'

Blake Street Tavern is among the bars fighting the new order, which will make the last call for alcohol 10 p.m. instead of 2 a.m.

DENVER — A group of restaurants, including the Blake Street Tavern,  is expected to file a formal complaint Wednesday to fight an order Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) issued on Tuesday requiring the establishments to cease alcohol sales at 10 p.m. nightly for the next 30 days.

The order takes effect Thursday.

RELATED: Polis temporarily moves last call for alcohol to 10 p.m. due to COVID-19 surge among young people

Tuesday night, Blake Street Tavern tweeted they were devastated by Polis' announcement.

"We hate to get political on our Twitter account but we are devastated to hear [Polis] announce that last call for alcohol will be at 10 p.m.," the restaurant tweeted. "Just when we're ready to welcome Rockies, Avalanche, Nuggets fans back and show evening games that many will run past 10 p.m. at night."

Blake Street Tavern also tweeted it and "200+ restaurant owners" will legally fight the governor's order.

Polis' office released a statement in response to the pending legal action.

“These are challenging times and no one wants Colorado’s small businesses to bounce back stronger more than the Governor. Based on the data and science, the Governor feels he is taking the steps that are absolutely critical in order to keep our economy reopening and prevent the virus from gaining a stranglehold."

The fate of our state in both virus suppression and economic recovery is largely in the hands of Coloradans. It’s important to reduce our social interactions, remain six feet from others whenever possible, and wear facial masks when we’re in public," the statement says in part.

Colorado’s bars and nightclubs that don’t serve food have already been ordered to close. Polis said Tuesday he was concerned about young people getting inebriated and losing their inhibitions about social distancing and mingling with other parties in the places that have stayed open.

RELATED: Bars and nightclubs to close to in-person service again following 2 weeks of increases in Colorado COVID-19 cases

Despite this latest order, Polis acknowledged that many outbreaks among young people have been at private parties. He said closing bars was about showing this is the “summer of no parties” and that nightlife should be largely discouraged.

Some owners of restaurants and bars disagree with the governor's decision to move up last calls.

Mark Berzins is the CEO of Little Pub Company, which owns 21 bars across the Denver metro area. He said he doesn't believe "there’s any correlation" between the spike in cases and "young people flocking to go out."

Below is the full statement from the governor's office:

These are challenging times and no one wants Colorado’s small businesses to bounce back stronger more than the Governor. Based on the data and science, the Governor feels he is taking the steps that are absolutely critical in order to keep our economy reopening and prevent the virus from gaining a stranglehold. 

The fate of our state in both virus suppression and economic recovery is largely in the hands of Coloradans. It’s important to reduce our social interactions, remain six feet from others whenever possible, and wear facial masks when we’re in public. 

The State is looking at data showing that more Coloradans in their twenties are participating in social activities that increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. In order to curb those activities, the Governor has signed an Executive Order temporarily moving last call for the sale of alcohol to  consumer to 10:00 p.m.”

SUGGESTED VIDEOSLocal stories from 9NEWS