By Russell Clark | March 23, 2021 at 10:49 PM EDT – Updated March 23 at 11:42 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Following Governor Coopers new Executive Order Wednesday, business owners in downtown Wilmington say this is a step in the right direction ― getting things back to some sense of normalcy.
“It means we can go back to old times in the fact that we can stay open until 2 a.m. We can have a band play later, while still practicing all the safety measures the governor suggests, said Matt McBride, the general manager of Bourbon Street.
Starting Friday, restaurants and bars will be allowed to stay open past 11 p.m. to serve alcohol. Restaurants are also allowed to open at 75% capacity and bars at 50% capacity
“I think everybody still has to be careful, you know. We still have a mask mandate and law in place. Everybody inside the establishment is going to have a mask on, and we still have to be careful with social distancing,” said McBride.
Museums and Aquariums, retail businesses, salons, personal care and grooming businesses, and tattoo parlors are all allowed open at 100% capacity.
“It will be nice again to not have those worries of ‘Oh gosh how many people are in here?’ and ‘Do we need to worry about putting someone at the door to, ya know, tell people they have to wait?’ — and you don’t want to have to do that so the freedom of it will be nice,” said Jenna McKnight, owner of Aqua Fedora.
However, not all businesses survived the pandemic.
President and CEO Holly Childs of Wilmington Downtown Incorporated says relaxing more restrictions is bringing the hope of a better future.
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