Kenoshans made their way back Friday to their favorite watering holes after a less than 24-hour-old local extension of the Safer-at-Home order was lifted.
“When I went to bed last night I didn’t think I was going to be able to open today,” Rich Karrasch, owner of Main Street Tap in Twin Lakes, said while serving a line of midday regulars.
Unlike some tavern owners, Karrasch said he didn’t try to open Wednesday night after the Supreme Court overturned the state order. He needed product and, even Friday, still did not have tap beer.
About a dozen people, choosing not to wear available masks, sat the bar and at gaming machines, watching national news about COVID-19 on large-screen televisions.
“I got tired of being shoved in and locked in,” said a regular who goes by the name Geo. “We’re able to socialize again.”
He celebrated the opening with other familiar faces, a Cincinnati bloody Mary (a bloody Mary and a can of beer), and a shot of Polish blackberry brandy.
Not all establishments opened Friday, and of those that did, not all had crowds. It was in contrast to national media reports that Wisconsinites were stampeding to bars like Floridians flocked to beaches when opened.
MaryBeth Van Every, owner of 75th Street Inn Pub and Grill on Highway 50 in Salem Lakes, said she is opening slowly to ensure it doesn’t send things “into reverse.”