How Dive Bars Can Be Especially Vulnerable to COVID-19

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It's Friday June twenty, six I'm Oscar Ramirez from the daily podcast in Los, Angeles and this is reopening America. We've shifted into a new phase in the coronavirus pandemic were social, distancing washing your hands wearing those face masks, and we're re opening the country. I'll still updates on any new information about the virus vaccine development, but will also be focusing on how we are reopening America everything that makes a dive bar. Great makes them especially vulnerable to cove in nineteen. Dark Interiors and busy atmospheres might lend itself to a good time, but it makes it hard to social distance and keep the air clean. The big question is our patrons ready to go back. Nick man called Battelle reporter at eater joins us for more thanks for joining US nick thanks rabbinate. As the country starts to open up. One of my favorite types of places to go to the dive bar is particularly vulnerable to cove in Nineteen you know we've done stories about how transmission happens they. In, especially places with poor ventilation. Let's say a person to person contact for extended periods of time, and those are some of the things that you get at a dive. Are Some of the things that you make even better really you know you like these dark places that you know when they're filled to the gills is just action happening and drinks flowing. Lots of good people watching these are some things that really make dive bar special, but it's also that thing that makes them vulnerable to cove in nineteen. Nick tell us a little bit about it. You spoke to few bar owners and their experience around all of this. So number of bartenders bar owners all over the country, and the situation really differs each city, but there were definitely some overlapping factors, so people really love going to rowdy dive bars because they are small and there notoriously dirty, and even if that type isn't exactly true for most places, it's still gives them a reputation that maybe makes customers a little bit weary about going into covert era. You know they tend to do a lot of business at the bar as opposed to table, so it's Kinda hard to socially distance there they deal in cash which has become taboo. They do things that are normally really cute and fun like they serve communal snacks and. And obviously that can't happen now, so these businesses are really struggling, even in comparison to other restaurants and bars around them, who may be can pivot to provide to go cocktails due to loosened regulations, some cities die I can't really do that either, because they don't serve mixed drinks, or they're known for that, and unless a customer is going to go out of their way to throw a few dollars to a dive bar, the probably not going to order a beer to go, so there are not a lot of options for these owners, even the ones who are sort of trying to work with the regulations in their cities, because customers just aren't going for that. So. Let's talk about some of those regulations, because as things started to open up one of the rules and a lot of places was you had to serve food if you were going to also serve drinks so? These drinks only bars were at a disadvantage, and they were making partnerships with restaurants or or something else so that they can do both. Again it of comes down to the city, 'cause regulations differing everywhere, and they're changing all the time, which is making it really hard for some of these owners, but yeah Susan Carnell who owns the living room in La partnered with a soul, food restaurant next door, or was planning to as a few weeks ago to set up in their parking lot, and serve and drinks, and then just recently la announced. She no longer has to do that so now. She's re figuring and Marcano. Who Owns Britannica in new. York, boy, as getting around a rule that required to go drinks there to be accompanied company. So he was just throwing in a bag of chips just to get around that arbitrary rule, so it takes a lot of pivoting and a lot of creativity from these owners to get around these crazy rules. What about bartenders I know? A lot of business owners bar owners are concerned for their staff. Obviously as well. They want them to be safe, but they also want them to make money, and if people aren't really turning out, it's a difficult thing to really go back to. Some owners have gotten loans a lot of no gotten PP loans, which shaft to go for the most part two employees, even though that's shifting as well so some of them have been able to bring back staff in some capacity, but that also relies on the willingness of the bartenders to come back at all, and in some cases. That's not a problem in New York for example Mark said. That Potanin Co would be happy to come back. You know they are don being quarantine. They WANNA work, but out in La at the living room. The situation is totally different. You know the staffers are really collections. Beyond this you spoke about the business loans, and all that costs are going up everywhere, so some of the great things about dive bars are some of the really cheap drink specials, and you talk about a place in Philadelphia. That had a shot and a beer combo for four dollars, a think in Los Angeles where I'm from one of the fun places. I used to go to back in the day the golden they would do a same thing. Shoddy Tequila and a beer combo for four dollars, and these prices aren't necessarily sustainable that much anymore. Depending on what the comeback is like. Yeah. A lot of these businesses were already struggling to survive in major city. Dive bars have been disappearing for years, and this is really just exacerbating that, so bob and Barbara's a great bar in Philadelphia has been known forever for serving the special elsewhere. It's not the citywide special because a shot and a beer, usually a PBS marina at Jim Beam and that. That person that drink has been creeping up already from three dollars to three fifty four dollars and I talked to Jack Chris. WHO's owned the bar for twenty five years and he doesn't know what he's going to price it. If and when the borrow pits, he doesn't know how he's going to be able to make his bottom line work and still offer. Affordable drinks that people know the Barkhor. I WanNa to read the quote that you put from Prince at the very anyhow article talking about the situation for dive bars, and he said you know if this is the end while that sucks, but hopefully we will live on, and let's just got to be the sentiment that a lot of bar owners business owners more broadly obviously to restaurants and things like that, but that's just got to be the sentiment that a lot of people have with the way. The shutdown have impacted businesses. Dive is are pillars of their communities, their places that from the foundation for a lot of people to come together, and they are struggling. They were struggling. They will continue to struggle, and they will continue to work to survive to keep lighting the scene and the drinks that people feel awkward, but going to be hard, and you speak about it throughout the article how dive bars have had to? To update themselves renovate to attract more people, but they also want to cater to the locals that people in their community that really prop up that business, and this is why I love you know my own local dive bars. The same thing you like to be irregular. Somebody liked to go and socialize and know the people there and as prince said it would suck if that would go away. He's really typified by Living Room Right here in Los, Angeles and that. A bar owner. There was talking about how she does care to a couple of different crowds. You know during the daytime. She gets her regulars and at night. You know as a more diverse gentrified crowd basically and those daytime regulars are older folks because of their community. They're older black folks. There are people that go way back with her. Who Show up for her? They're her friends and they're worried there maybe not coming back as much as they want to support You know a friendly business. They're just not gonNA. Come Out! Nick man called Battelle reporter at eater. Thank you very much for joining us. Thanks again ran. I'm Oscar is and this is reopening America. Don't forget that for today's big news story. Check me out on the daily dive podcast every Monday through Friday, so follow us on Iheartradio or wherever you get your podcast. Never, has the world of golf in more fascinating or more influx, thanks to a suddenly newfound appreciation for a sport that millions love, and even more millions of watching my new podcast. The Shack show hosted by me Geoff. 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