Virginia Beach restaurants prepare for new alcohol, food restrictions

Posted at 12:30 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 13:41:16-04

NORFOLK, Va. – Whether it’s a shot of vodka or a pint of your favorite beer, you’re going to need to get the order in by 9:59 p.m if you're in the Virginia Beach or Hampton Roads area.

"It's about stopping the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Ralph Northam at a recent press conference.

His newest executive order begins at 12 a.m. on Friday.

"Hopefully it doesn't affect us that much,” said Wayne Crosby.

Crosby is a chef at Hell's Kitchen on Granby Street. Like most restaurants, they are doing everything to stay alive. They say the new restrictions on alcohol sales could be a setback.

"Our liquor sales are always going to be higher than our food sales,” he explained.

Already, those sales are low since people can't sit at the bar. And now they can't serve alcohol after 10 p.m.

Last pour is usually at 2 a.m.

"You just adapt to everything with the change,” Crosby said.

Another thing that's changing - food orders. Restaurants must close by midnight.

Local doctors say the governor’s decision after seeing the spike in Hampton Roads is necessary.

"Any type of place that we have a lot of people congregated in one area, you're going to see more of an explosion there,” said Dr. Vladimir Markovic, the Chief Medical Officer at the Hampton Roads Community Health Center.

Leaders at Hell’s Kitchen say they are not too concerned about losing customers with the new hours. They say all this means is people need to start coming out early when it's still light out to get a head start on eating and drinking.

"Start coming in at 4 for happy hour,” Crosby urged.

And keep in mind - that last call is sooner that what you're used to.

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