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Several bars in Athens,Georgia opened back up on Monday, June 1, 2020. Though Gov. Kemp has permitted bars to reopen at 35% capacity, some bars like Bar South have chosen to keep their doors closed.(Photo/Sophie Yaeger)

Enforcement of the new 10 p.m. last call time for bars and restaurants to serve alcohol has been temporarily suspended after a lawsuit from multiple Athens bars. 

Western Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Eric Norris ordered Friday that a new ordinance that moved last call from 2 a.m. to 10 p.m. not be enforced, according to an order by Norris given to the bar owners involved in the suit.

A lawsuit was filed yesterday by the parent companies and owners of On the Rocks, Moonshine, Buddha Bar, Centro and Cloud against each of Athens-Clarke County commissioners, the mayor and the chief of police.

“I don’t think it’s fair to single us out,” Jarrod Miller, chief operating officer of 1785 Bar and Grill, Moonshine and On The Rocks, said. “That was really the deciding factor of why bar owners came together in a way I’ve never seen bar owners do, because we’re in a highly competitive market.”

Miller said there are roughly 20 to 30 organizations — some of whom would not like to be named publicly — “who wanted to get involved in the fight.” Although they’re not listed as plaintiffs in the suit, they are contributing to the legal fees. Because of this, he said the cost has become “very, very affordable.”

In addition to preventing the last call time from being changed, these owners have also asked that the latest COVID-19 emergency ordinance extension passed on Thursday not be enforced. The state of emergency ordinance was renewed with amended language, including changing the face mask rule — the exemption for people eating or drinking would only apply if the person was seated.

The plaintiffs argue that because these ordinances are more restrictive than the state executive order by Gov. Brian Kemp, which specifically states that municipalities cannot pass stricter regulations, they cannot be enforced.

An evidentiary hearing will be held on August 6, according to Norris’ order.

“I would say that we have a strong case going into next Thursday’s hearing, based on local powers embedded in state law, the healthcare needs of the region and based on a wealth of scientific understanding,” Mayor Kelly Girtz said in a message to The Red & Black.

Bar owners expressed their displeasure at the proposed rule earlier this week when Girtz made a post on his Facebook page about the then-proposed ordinance. The commission voted on Thursday to move last call to 10 p.m., not the proposed 9 p.m. in Girtz’s post.

“You know, high school, elementary schools, middle schools and the university are about to be back in class session, so they’re going to be face-to-face, there’s going to be potential for transmission as early as 8 a.m. every day, so how does after 10 p.m. change that for adults who choose to go out?” said Miller, who said the situation has cemented his decision to get involved in politics in the future as a candidate for mayor or commissioner.

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(3) comments

gaboy22

Correction: Bar South has been open most all of this summer. As have most bars, as many are struggling to provide for their employees. A good friend of mine works at Cutters and Allgood as a full time bartender and is now very concerned as to how to cover his own expenses and pay his rent thanks to the county's decision. Let us not lose sight of what is the backbone of this town..

wjabbe

Here are the two key references for all to read regarding the subject of vital diseases, expensive and untested vaccines and simple, safe and cheap high dose Vitamin C to solve the problem: www.doctoryourself.com/klennerpaper.html http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1991/pdf/1991-v06n02-p099.pdf

Read these seminal scientific papers over and over and over again. Fred Klenner M.D., was the world authority in this subject during his life. He was from Pennsylvania. He earned an MD degree from Duke University. He also met his wife a former nursing student there. He became fascinated with the possibility of using simple, cheap and safe high dose Vitamin C to cure all viral diseases in man. Animals make their own Vitamin C and carry it with them at all times to save their lives automatically. Humans do not make their own Vitamin C. It must be provided externally by man himself. It is cheap and simple and safe unlike vaccines which may have many dangerous side effects and only work in limited cases out of millions or billions but high dose Vitamin C works in all cases! Read these articles by this genius. It costs you nothing. Klenner provided all this great information to us all for free! He did all the work and research for free. But the outlaws in the medical orthodoxy have given him their giant middle finger because there is no big money in simple, safe and cheap Vitamin C which saves the lives of animals all over the planet every day! It can save your life and the lives of your loved ones too! Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics citizen for 54 years.

wjabbe

Wouldn't it be nice, or have been nice, if the same concern rightfully shown by vested interests in alcohol, have been shown to prevent moving the Confederate Monument out of Dodge? Or how about the same government concern regarding the power of simple, safe and cheap high dose Vitamin C to prevent vital diseases as expensive and possibly unsafe and yet untested vaccines, possibly causing other side effects and diseases but producing vast profits for certain selfish vested financial interests? As usual aren't our goals upside down here and possibly elsewhere too? The late top medical doctor and medical researcher Fred Klenner, M.D. cured all childhood viral diseases up to and including Polio before 1949! He believed and claimed high dose Vitamin C could safely and cheaply cure all others period end of sentence. However this outcome would not lead to trillions of dollars in profits for Big Pharma. Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics citizen for 54 years.

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