New Rules Increase Bar Capacity Ahead of Alabama’s First Game

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Tuscaloosa’s bars and restaurants have fewer customers by law lately, but starting this week those numbers are heading back toward normalcy.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox put out a new executive order Wednesday that goes into effect Thursday at 5:01 p.m.

Businesses operating under an ABC Lounge License may fill their interior capacity to 50% of their occupancy as established by the fire marshal, with a minimum of 100 people.

The order reads:

“For example: an establishment with an occupancy of 40 people, may operate with an interior capacity of 40 people. An establishment with an occupancy of 120 people, may operate with an interior capacity of 100 people. An establishment with an occupancy of 300 people, may operate with an interior capacity of 150 people.”

Previously, restaurants were required to limit occupancy to 50% of their normal capacity, up to a limit of 150 patrons. Before that, the limit was 100 patrons.

The amended Section 2 of the order gives certain ABC-licensed restaurants the option to choose whether to operate under ABC Lounge restrictions or ABC-licensed restaurant restrictions. That means restaurants can operate under the 50% capacity rules instead of requiring all patrons remain seated as long as they notify the Tuscaloosa Police Department ahead of time.

These establishments must choose one track and may not alternate between the two.

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