Businesses prepare for late nights as ‘Last Call’ order lifted

Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 11:27 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Starting Monday night, bars and restaurants in the state will be able to serve alcohol after 11 p.m.

Gov. Henry McMaster has lifted the “Last Call” restrictions that have been in place since July.

The assistant general manager at JohnKing Grill & Bar on King Street said he is excited to bring more business back to Charleston and said the businesses is also going to keep the social distancing and face mask standards.

“We want an opportunity for food and beverage people to have a drink after work,” the assistant manager said. “I know when I got off work, you wouldn’t be able to get a drink, and now we’re one of the first bars you can come and have a drink at.”

Many bars and restaurants on King Street were used to being open and serving drinks until 2 a.m. before the pandemic started.

Bobby Williams, the chairman of the South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, said business owners were upset about the last call order since the beginning.

Now, they feel relief.

“We certainly understand why [the restrictions were in place], but we thought it would have been lifted by now,” Williams said. “It is a relief now and it’s almost a return to normalcy for us. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.”

Although businesses can now serve alcohol later, Charleston city officials say they will still be enforcing the city’s mask ordinance.

So far, the city has written 713 mask citations this year.

“Officers will remain on duty throughout the evening hours and day shift hours. We will rotate them accordingly to our needs and we want to ensure that we are consistent with enforcement and that we continue in the same manner that we have in the past month or two,” Charleston Livability and Tourism Director Dan Riccio said.

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