“I’m worried, it’s gonna hurt a lot.” Restaurant owner fears consequences of Governor Hutchinson’s 11 p.m. closure

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ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Restaurants and bars are adjusting to the new normal decided by Governor Asa Hutchinson. Thursday, he announced any place that sells alcohol must close by 11 P.M in effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

This mandate just went into effect Friday, but John Hudec, owner of Boars Nest in Rogers, is already fearing the consequences.

“We’re going to lose 30% of our business right off the top,” he said. “I’m worried, it’s gonna hurt a lot.”

It’s a decision Governor Hutchinson said he was advised by his COVID-19 winter task force to make. This mandate is serious enough that anyone in violation with it can be fined up to $100.

“I think it’s a mistake,” Hudec said. “I think most of the people that would stay out that late are now going home and doing house parties- there’s no control there whatsoever.”

However, Governor Hutchinson said because he can’t control what goes on inside homes, he must focus on what goes on in public places, like Boars Nest.

“We’re trying to minimize undisciplined gatherings of people that are not in compliance of public health guidelines,” the governor said.

As some business owner question Governor Hutchinson’s empathy towards businesses during this time, he assures you lack of concern is not the case.

“We want to keep our businesses going, we don’t want to slow them down, we don’t want to put undue hardship on it,’ he said. “We want our decisions to be based on good facts and analysis.”

This mandate is set to last until January 3rd.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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