Worker shortage keeping many bars from opening late, even as curfew lifted |

Worker shortage keeping many bars from opening late, even as curfew lifted

Stephanie Duprey
Created: May 31, 2021 11:26 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Heading out to your favorite bar or restaurant later in the evening is now possible. After about a year with a COVID curfew, Monday was the first night businesses didn’t have to race the clock.

Because of the holiday, it was tough to find places that were open, but what we did hear from some bar owners is that while they're excited to be open late, they're only staying open until midnight or earlier until they have proper staffing. 

"It's exciting because there will be more money in our pockets which is a good thing," said Laura, a bartender at Linwood Bar and Grill. 

Laura has been a bartender for Linwood for about three years. She says business has been picking up and doesn't doubt that it will pick up more now that the curfew is lifted. But in order to stay open late, they need help. Laura tells us finding help is close to impossible right now.

"Honestly, no one has been asking, no one wants to work, it seems like they would rather collect unemployment,” Laura said.

News10NBC called dozens of bars and restaurants to talk with them about what their plans are now that the curfew is lifted. Many places were closed for Memorial Day.

When we called businesses, most of them had voice mails set up that sounded like this, "Due to the shortage of employees in the workforce causing our inability to fill open positions we are modifying our business hours temporarily, we will open at 4 p.m. on Sundays.”

Quite a few places we called had close to, if not the same message for customers, and that they'll only be open one or two days a week. 

More than half of the bars we went to Monday said they'll only be staying open till midnight for the foreseeable future.

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