Only a few people were in bars in downtown Scottsdale on Monday evening in the hours between when Gov. Doug Ducey announced that bars would again close in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and when the closure took effect at 8 p.m.
Scottsdale locals Milissa and Mike Simmons drank beers outside during the hot afternoon at a fairly empty Pattie’s First Avenue Lounge, a dive bar with dollars covering the walls in Old Town Scottsdale.
“I’m devastated because I can’t go on my mini-vacation,” Milissa said. “They’re taking away our sanity by limiting us … now we can’t even go to our local bar.”
Mike Simmons, 70, said he thinks young people caused the shutdown.
“Young people don’t care,” he said. “They just want to come out and have a fun time … Do I think Ducey’s got a right? If it controls this situation, maybe.”
Down the street, 28-year-olds Chris Lounsbury and Greg Marza were going out for their “last hurrah” at Beverly on Main.
Marza said the shutdown is “a little long overdue” because people will still go out unless the government says they cannot.
Bars closed through July 27
On Monday, Ducey ordered bars, gyms, theaters, water parks and inner-tubing facilities to close through July 27.
Facing mounting pressure to respond to the ballooning COVID-19 numbers that followed his revised, accelerated reopening plan, he issued an executive order giving those entities until 8 p.m. to shutdown.
Ducey’s order says bars “whose primary business is the sale or dispensing of alcoholic beverages” must pause operations but can continue to sell alcohol through pick-up, delivery or drive-thru.
It appears that establishments that sell food along with alcohol can remain open.
Ducey also said the order’s July 27 expiration date was an “aspirational goal” and would depend on how the state’s spiking COVID-19 numbers and hospitalizations evolved, calling the state’s recent numbers “brutal.”
Fun and fear in last moments
Few bars and clubs were open in the entertainment district in Scottsdale on Monday.
Last week, Ducey called several bars “bad actors” and announced eight of Old Town Scottsdale’s most popular bars and nightclubs were sent notices ordering them to comply with social distancing and mask requirements, while one, Riot House, was charged for failing to comply. Many later announced they would close again.
Maya Day & Night Club, Bottled Blonde Pizzeria, HiFi Kitchen + Cocktails, Casa Amigos Tacos + Tequila, Skylanes, Riot House, El Hefe, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row and INTL Nightclub all closed last week.
At Pattie’s, which is one of the bars that was sent a notice to comply, bartender Matthew Rendon said in the last 10 minutes of service Monday night that he is worried about how he is going to support his three daughters during the shutdown.
“It affects me in determining what’s the next step. Am I going to have to get a second job?” he said.
Rendon agreed with some of the other bar-goers that Pattie’s employees and regulars feel like a family.
“To me, I don’t see them as customers,” he said. “We build a friendship — a family. You’re the guy that they see and they’ll open up to you, so it’s going to suck for the next 30 days, but again, it’s for the better.”
“I’m just kind of sad that most of our industry is going to be affected, just coming out of the two or three months that we were out before,” Rendon said. “If this is for the better cause, then obviously, what are you gonna do?”
A few people were out on Mill Avenue in Tempe on Monday evening.
Jacqueline Williams, a senior at Arizona State University, said she and her friends were planning on staying out at Mill Avenue on Monday night but they were disappointed to have to leave CASA Tempe and stop getting drinks at 7 p.m.
“My friends think it should be our discretion if we want to go out and risk getting the virus,” Williams said.
Williams said as a 22-year-old who is finishing her last year in college, “that was also really hard to hear about because I’m a really social person.”
She and her friends are planning a trip to San Diego in hopes that they can go to bars and clubs more than they can in Arizona.
“But we’re always safe,” Williams said. “We always wear masks, we always hand sanitize. I know that my friends think that it should be up to ourselves though.”
“I understand why but I don’t think that’s going to make a huge difference because people are going to go out anyways, just not to bars.”
Republic reporters Lorraine Longhi, Tirion Morris and Maria Polletta contributed to this story.
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