Bars, entertainment venues welcome Phase 4

NOW: Bars, entertainment venues welcome Phase 4

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- While local restaurants take advantage of the good weather for outdoor seating, bars can now welcome customers to take a seat once more, as Indiana’s Phase 4 kicked off Friday.

Half-capacity seating at bars will now be allowed as part of the plan.

It also means more staffing, and O’Rourke’s Bar Manager Kelsey Wade said employees are happy to get more hours as well.

“We’re just going to have our community back, and to have our students when they actually come back I guess to just be here, and serve them at the rail,” Wade said.

The pandemic has been especially hard on smaller bars which sell alcohol almost exclusively, like Spirited in downtown South Bend.

“People that are coming out, it’s just a different feel,” Spirited Co-owner Brooke Donegan said.
“You’re not really coming out to meet people and sit and talk to the bartender or things like that. It’s kind of changed our atmosphere a little bit because people are coming specifically with someone else and sitting at a table. It’s not the interactions we used to have.”

Entertainment centers like Mishawaka’s Parkway Lanes also reopened Friday, with bowlers anxious to start practicing again, according to employees.

“We opened at two today and we had people waiting in the parking lot when we got here,” Parkway Lanes employee Brenda Schoen said.
“So they love the sport and they’ve been away from their sport for a while. A lot of these guys had their season cut short and you know, that was a bummer for them. So they are excited to get back in practice and have fun.”

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