Updated July 11, 2020 - 2:02 am
Last call is a seldom-heard phrase in Las Vegas, but just before midnight Friday night bars in Clark County and six other counties across Nevada served their last drinks after Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order for bars to close.
The closures, necessitated by rising COVID-19 case numbers, affect Clark, Washoe, Elko, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon and Nye counties. Bars, pubs, taverns, distilleries, breweries and wineries that don’t serve food in those counties will close until at least July 24, Sisolak said.
On Fremont Street, the foot traffic and cars were nothing out of the ordinary Friday night, but several bars including Commonwealth and Gold Spike had shut their doors before 11:30.
Others, including The Griffin at 511 Fremont St., announced their last call four hours earlier than usual. At 11:30 disgruntled moans could be heard from about 30 patrons when bartenders at The Griffin announced last call.
Dave Salcedo, 55, said he’s been a regular for years and has come to the bar every weekend since it was able to reopen.
“I’m bummed,” he said hearing last call. “I love it here.”
Salcedo said he’s most upset that The Griffin is “being punished” for bars that aren’t in compliance. The Griffin requires face masks when entering and approaching the bar. No one is allowed to drink at the bar.
Meri Pruitt, 38, said she’s lost 54 pounds in the last year from dancing weekly at bars such as Artifice and The Griffin. She said bars that aren’t in compliance should face punishment, not those who are adhering to guidelines.
“If they’re not in compliance, they should be forced to close,” she said.
At midnight expletives directed at the governor could be heard from passersby on Fremont Street while dozens made their way toward restaurants, which were allowed to stay open and serve alcohol, according to the governor.
“It’s weird out here,” Quentin Lawrence said.
Lawrence said he blames the people who come to the bar in large groups, something he said he’s seen often.
“They should be respectful of the rules or we’ll keep getting shut down,” Lawrence said.