Gov. Polis may consider adjusting last call order from 10 p.m. to midnight

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — At 10 p.m. Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis’ new last call order goes into effect at restaurants and bars across the state. The strategy is part of an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Now, more pushback is coming from hundreds of restaurants.

The Tavern League of Colorado has asked a judge to temporarily stop the early last call through a temporary restraining order.

Hundreds of restaurants are saying there is no science and no substantial evidence to prove the order would help stop the spread COVID-19.

In the filing, the League said the order is “unreasonable” when one considers there are more outbreaks at restaurants serving mostly food.

Polis said, “When you look at (restaurants), we see generally that it’s two people, it’s four people, it’s one person. If restaurants were not doing a great job of maintaining these safety requirements, you would see a very different set of (much higher) numbers.”

The governor said the reason for the new order is the high rate of COVID-19 infections among 20-to-29-year-olds who frequent restaurants and bars to mostly drink.

Polis is now saying he’ll consider extending last call to possibly midnight – if COVID-19 statistics improve among people in their 20s.

The owner of El Chingon Mexican Bistro Lorenzo Nunez said a midnight last call would help steady profits at his restaurant on Tennyson Street in northwest Denver.

“Extending last call to midnight would be a great benefit. Like most restaurant bars, the (profit) margins are made between 10 o’clock and the midnight hour. Taking that time from us hurts us financially,” Nunez said.

Hundreds of bars and restaurants which are members of The Tavern League and are still pushing to stop the 10 p.m. early last call altogether and allow bars to once again stay open until 2 a.m.

A judge is expected to make a hear the Tavern League’s request for a restraining order next week.

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