BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Although not all bars are opening up yet as part of California's phase 3 of reopening, you can go to Guthrie's Alley Cat on Friday night. It’ll be the first time the place has seen customers in nearly 3 months.
“It’s a little odd, this is our 80 year anniversary this year, and in 80 years, we have never experienced anything like this," said Trisha Fike, the owner of the bar.
Fike says the place has not done any business since health regulations called for the closure of bars in March. She says, thankfully, the bar had financial reserves and was able to take advantage of economic relief programs, but it still wasn’t easy.
“It was stressful no matter what, I don’t think anyone is smelling like a rose coming out of this financially," Fike said.
The owner anticipates things won’t be easy for quite some time. Even though the bar is reopening, it’ll only be able to hold about 40 people at once in order to accommodate social distancing rules. Per state guidelines, guests are allowed to sit closer to one another as long as they come in together. But pike anticipates things could get tricky when someone mingles with other groups.
“I can’t tell him he can’t do that. So that’s where it’s going to be strange, trying to manage other people’s social distancing decisions," Fike said.
Fike says tables and bar stools are spread out in accordance with the state’s guidelines, and common areas where people stand and congregate will no longer be allowed.
Bargoers will be required to sanitize pool table equipment before and after each use, and guests will be encouraged to use their phones to control the jukebox. Fike hopes that people are patient and understanding when it comes to the new rules because all of it is being done in the name of public safety.
23ABC spoke with other bars in the city, and many say they are holding off on opening as they figure out their own way to open up safely.