ATLANTIC BEACH — Bar and club owners in one Bogue Banks town may serve customers outdoors, thanks to an ordinance amendment unanimously passed Thursday by the Atlantic Beach Town Council.
The council met at the town hall boardroom and online via Zoom Thursday for a special meeting. During this meeting, the council unanimously adopted a resolution amending a town ordinance to allow bars and night clubs to establish temporary outdoor areas within 100 feet of the business to serve alcoholic beverages.
The establishments can serve in the outdoor spaces from noon to 9 p.m. The amendment is effective at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Prior to the amendment, bars and night clubs weren’t able to serve customers due to a combination of state restrictions in place due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and town ordinances that prohibit outdoor alcohol consumption and possession of open containers of alcohol.
Councilmen Danny Navey and Austin Waters recused themselves from the vote since they are co-owners of the local club Memories.
Co-owner of the Tackle Box Tavern Rich Porter, a former town councilman, was present for the meeting and supported the amendment. He urged the council to pass it.
“I’ve got folks working for us who are struggling,” he said. “This isn’t about the businesses surviving as much as the community surviving.”
The amendment will expire once state officials permit normal bar and nightclub operations to resume.
Mayor Trace Cooper said the outdoor serving areas must be limited to no more than 25 customers at one time, per state restrictions on outdoor mass gatherings.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.