MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- Florida's actions Friday to lift COVID restrictions on bars and restaurants to operate at full capacity -- begs the question -- what will Alabama do come next Friday? -- That's when the current "Safer at Home" order expires.
50% capacity and 11 o'clock last call -- it's been a huge adjustment for downtown businesses, especially those who rely on those extra late night hours.
"It's been going about as well as we can expect it. There are ups and downs, but in general people have been really supportive and we've had a good turnout and a good response -- while being responsible and doing everything by the book," said Roy Clark, The Haberdasher General Manager.
The Haberdasher was closed for 4 1/2 months. In that time they reconfigured their floor plan -- operating now as a seating only model. They've built partitions between the booths, no bar seating, and table service only to control the traffic through the bar.
Regardless if Governor Ivey takes a cue from our neighbors to the east -- they plan to keep the stricter guidelines in place -- at least for now.
"We will pretty much continue to operate in the way that we have -- this entire time until it seems safe to do otherwise. I would hope that other places are going to do the same and try to maintain some sense of responsibility," said Clark.
Up the street at Chuck's Fish -- they share that same goal moving forward.
"I know that our restaurant group... and any restaurant group is going to keep it safe. We make sure everybody is safe. That's our first priority. Everything's clean, everything's disinfected, everything's wiped down, and tables are six feet apart," said Jeremy Hicks, Chuck's Fish General Manager.
Those in the bar and restaurant industry will all tell you "survival is success" during COVID times and are beyond thankful for their faithful regulars.
"We've learned it's nice to have regular guests in here that support you. People that come in here rain or shine -- they're going to come in here and support us. We just appreciate the support -- that local support," said Hicks.
We reached out to Governor Kay Ivey's Office for an update -- and were sent the following statement:
It is evident that Alabamians are doing considerably well in modifying their behaviors to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, and we all remain optimistic that a successful vaccine will be coming soon. Our state’s success is largely in part to Alabamians stepping up to the plate when it comes to cooperating with the mask ordinance. Governor Ivey is leading the way on several fronts including getting students and teachers back in the classroom, college students returning to campus and businesses remaining open – in fact, Alabama has one of the country’s lowest unemployment rates. This success is a reality because Alabamians are wearing their masks and maintaining social distancing precautions. Governor Ivey and Dr. Scott Harris will continue closely monitoring our progress and provide an update ahead of the October 2nd expiration.