Bar owner calling on governor to allow to-go alcohol sales speaks out

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The owner of Quarters Arcade and Bar in Salt Lake City says selling to-go alcohol would be a game-changer for her business.

The bar is one of more than 2,000 establishments in Salt Lake City suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The truth is it went from 100% to 0%, and now we’ve currently been open for about three weeks,” said Katy Willis. “We’re looking at about 1/5th of what we were doing before.”

To make up for loss revenue, Willis is calling on Governor Gary Herbert to issue an executive order to allow to-go sales of beer and cocktails amid the pandemic.

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It comes as restaurants and bars operate at a limited capacity, many only allowing takeout orders.

“When we were closed we don’t have a kitchen, so we didn’t have any availability to make money,” said Willis. “I’m down for however this needs to happen.”

So is Tamara Gibo, a managing member of Takashi and a board member of the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association.

“To put it bluntly, anybody trying to build a restaurant concept that doesn’t have alcohol included in their product mixed and overall design is not going to make it,” said Gibo.

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She shares how hard her restaurant has been hit by the changes.

“Our sales are down 75-80%, and if we were able to include alcohol sales in our to-go model that extra 20-30% would be enough to not get us into profit, but get us even,” she said.

If approved, Utah would join other states including Maryland, Illinois and California who’ve made this temporary change.

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Nicole Neuman
Nicole Neuman comes to ABC4 Utah from Nexstar sister station WNCT in Greenville, N.C. where she worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor. During her time at WNCT, Nicole reported on several impactful stories.

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