Note: An earlier version of this story included Nash Street Tavern in Hillsborough on the list of private bars that had their ABC license cancelled. Nash Street Tavern should not be on this list. It's license is current.
The North Carolina Bar Owners Association has issued a release claiming 120 private bar permits across the state have been cancelled as of Jan. 4, 2021. Several establishments in Orange County were among those cancelled. On the list are the Blue Horn Lounge in Chapel Hill; Crunkleton in Chapel Hill; the Pit Chapel Hill, in Chapel Hill; West End Wine Bar, Chapel Hill; 2nd Wind, Carrboro; and Slow Lane Riders Motorcycle Club in Mebane.
“Due to the closure of private bars since March 16 2020, private bars were given a permit fee deferment option by the NC legislature and the ABC commission; to defer permit fees until 60 days after private bars were allowed to re-open.
On Oct. 2nd 2020, Gov. Roy Cooper allowed private bars to operate at 30 percent of outdoor occupancy only,” the North Carolina Bar Owners Association release stated. “This was not inclusive of ALL private bars. The vast majority were still not allowed to open due to these restrictions and lack of outdoor space.
“It appears the ABC commission has determined this 60 days deferment period began with the October 2nd order, regardless of the bars ability to operate or not.
No notice was provided to these private bar owners that their permits were in jeopardy of being canceled for failure to pay. At this time we have heard from owners across the state who have been visited by local and state law enforcement with orders to close their bars immediately or face penalties and charges,” the release said.
The association is urging Gov. Cooper, state legislators and N.C. ABC Commission to “take whatever action necessary” to reinstate the bars’ permits.