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Georgia bars and clubs set to reopen next week with restrictions

Imminent reopening draws mixed feelings
Posted at 6:29 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 18:29:19-04

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released an executive order Thursday allowing bars and nightclubs across the state to reopen, starting June 1.

On a typical Friday night, Hubs and Hops in Thomasville would see hundreds of people coming and going. Next week, they will welcome back customers but not without some restrictions.

"We are just excited to be able to see all of our customers again," said Madison Byington, the general manager at Hubs and Hops. "People are eager to come out again. I think I think people are ready."

But, before reopening bars and nightclubs, owners must adhere to a list of 39 requirements.

Governor Kemp's order outlines everything from ensuring cleanliness to limiting capacity, now allowing groups to increase from 10 to 25 people.

"Definitely the most challenging, especially with running a bar is keeping the amount of people down to a minimum," Byington said. "Usually in a bar setting that's not your concern."

Hubs and Hops employees will undergo temperature screenings and wear masks.

People living in the area admit concerns with potential bar crowds.

"I think for businesswise it's a good thing because the coronavirus has been hard on businesses," said Jared Hines, who lives in Thomasville. "But at the same time, it's also kind of scary that everything is reopening and people getting back out. More people, more crowds."

Others, including neighboring businesses are eager to see people out and about again.

"I am so glad that people are getting back out, and being comfortable with getting back out, and being able to get back out," said Ian Oquinn-Hicks, the owner of a nearby business. "I'll definitely visit Hubs and Hops, which is my neighbor to my store, and I will go from there taking small steps like everyone else."

In order to maintain social distancing and limit crowds, Hubs and Hops' owner says they will use outdoor seating to accommodate their guests.

Hubs and Hops will re-open Thursday.