On April 21, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam quietly amended an executive order and is now enabling restaurants, breweries, and the like to resume service at the bar for the first time since the covid-19 pandemic began.
Since March 2020, such establishments were forced to close their bars to eating and drinking due to the pandemic. The governor lifted the bar ban without any formal public announcement.
Under the governor’s new executive order, restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms are now able to seat people at bars but only if there is six feet between each party. Other safety protocols remain in place including the wearing of face masks when not eating or drinking.
Alcoholic beverages are still unable to be sold, consumed, or possessed on the premises of restaurants and other similar establishments between the hours of midnight and 5 am. However, delivery and takeout services remain available during this timeframe.
Local restaurants welcomed the governor’s loosening of restrictions, permitting patrons to utilize their bars once again after more than a year. Mellow Mushroom at the Marketplace at Tech Center in Newport News happily shared the news of its bar reopening on its social media pages, inviting customers to come grab a seat at the bar on a first come first served basis.