Business owners react to latest reopenings, additional restrictions announced by leaders

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – More reopenings are set to happen across South Carolina, but Governor Henry McMaster is calling on local governments to step up enforcement on things like he mask wearing, and limiting crowds.

Event venues, concert halls, parades, nightclubs, etc are all getting the green light to resume business- but only under heavy restrictions. And now, with restrictions for restaurants made mandatory, one Downtown Charleston bar owner says he is taking it one day at a time:

“I make a plan each morning and by the time 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock hits it’s a different plan in motion…We’re in a tough business right now- restaurants and nightlife specifically. There’s no real right answer,” says Keith Benjamin, partner at Uptown Social.

With more reopenings announced by Governor McMaster on Wednesday, come more restrictions- restrictions he’s asking for help enforcing:

“And the way to prepare for the worst is to have local leadership involved in stopping the spread of this virus and keeping the people safe.”

The latest executive order is another attempt at getting COVID-19 numbers under control across the state.

“These limited measures give South Carolina the best chance to slow down the spread of the virus while keeping our economy open,” says Governor McMaster.

Uptown Social has been flexible, even adding a breakfast menu to keep patrons coming to the location, Benjamin says that it’s not ideal:

“Our model is not meant to be closed by 11 o’clock every night, it just doesn’t work for Uptown Social,” says Benjamin.

And while the breakfast menu at Uptown Social is here to stay, Benjamin is hoping dance floors and bars will be full again soon:

“Getting back to the 2:00 a.m. closing time is paramount to our success and we just hope that we can get there sooner rather than later.”

The Governor’s office is working to finalize details in the new executive order, adding the latest restrictions and mandates. It is anticipated the order will be released by the weekend and will take effect on Monday August 3rd.

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