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Washoe County bar owners urged to join local reopening coalition


After months of business closure or limited to-go sales, bar owners in Washoe County are banding together to work with local health and government officials on a plan to reopen area bars. The Washoe County Bar/Taproom Coalition, which includes more than 30 local bar owners,  compiled safety standards from other reopened states and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to draft their own plan for getting back to business.  

“Bars in Washoe County have been closed or doing to-go sales only for 24 of the last 26 weeks. This is having a huge impact on business owners, their staffs and all the families involved as many have lost more than 50% of their normal revenue,” said Matt Johnson, co-founder of IMBĪB.

“We appreciate the local entities working with us. Given the opportunity, bar owners are more than prepared to serve those in Washoe County and do so in a manner with strict protocols and protections for customers and employees,” he said.

The coalition has earned support from Washoe County officials who reviewed the group’s proposal for reopening bars and made several recommendations that were accepted into the plan. The plan will be submitted to the Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force for review at today’s noon-time meeting. The task force will decide whether or not bars can reopen.

Meanwhile, Washoe County Manager Eric Brown said all of the areas bars need to work together and agree to the plan in order for it to be effective. “We need input and buy-in from all our bar, tavern, pub, brewery and winery owners to make that happen,” he said.

Bar owners who wish to be included in the coalition discussions should contact Matt Johnson at [email protected].

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