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Fri Jan 22, 2021, 08:27 AM

NC bar owners upset at sudden loss of liquor licenses; state promises to work with them

Tiffany Storm of Charlotte was surprised and angry last week when a North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement officer told her the state alcohol licenses for the bar she owns, Chasers Charlotte NoDa, had been canceled.

“I was like, ‘Well, how is my license canceled when — you know — nobody’s told me,’” Storm said on Friday. “So I started digging into it, and sure enough, 120 bars in North Carolina had their license canceled on Jan. 4” following an executive order from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper that took effect Oct. 4. Cooper’s order allowed private bars in North Carolina to reopen in October for the first time since he shuttered them in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. They are restricted to outdoor seating only, and that is limited to 30% capacity.

The recently created North Carolina Bar Owners Association last week released a list of 116 bars whose licenses were canceled on Jan. 4. A small number voluntarily let their licenses expire (for example, some permanently shut down), but the vast majority had not, said association lobbyist Logan Martin.

The cancelations came as the bar owners note with growing frustration that their operations are severely restricted while their customers have moved on to their competitors — restaurant bars, on-site breweries and brewpubs, wineries and distilleries — that Cooper allowed to reopen in May.

Read more: https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/2021/01/20/nc-bar-owners-caught-off-guard-angered-liquor-license-cancelations/4213328001/

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