SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Between plexiglass dividers and social distancing marks, during the last 14 months, bars and restaurants have looked and operated differently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Memorial Day, bars and restaurants will be able to stay open past midnight if they choose to do so. The state is lifting the midnight curfew.
“Now we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel which is fantastic and I can see it with the customers too,” says Dave Harmon, Owner of West Side Sports Bar and Grill on Congress St in Saratoga Springs. Harmon says this curfew lift won’t really affect them because they close on the earlier side, but he says it’s great news for the industry. “It’s a step in the right direction — it has been a process,” says Harmon.
Customers can eat, drink, and bar hop past midnight at their favorite spots in the Spa City including the local on Grand Ave. “We have definitely have seen an increase of people staying here after 10 o’clock or coming in at 10 o’clock just looking for a bite to eat or a beer, it’s been encouraging to see that and hopefully this lifting curfew we can see more of that as well,” says John Vallo, restaurant manager of The Local Pub & Teahouse.
The curfew for bars and restaurants has been in effect across the state since November. The curfew was initially set for 10 p.m. and then was later extended to 11 p.m. in February, and midnight since March. “Just getting back to normal and not having to worry about what happens here you know, all those little rules that have been changing day by day not having to worry about it’s going to give the staff a piece of mind, it’s going to give the owners a piece of mind,” says Vallo.