In last week’s Editor’s Note, Jeffrey C. Billman asked what the difference was between a brewery (allowed to open in phase 2) and a bar (not allowed). On Thursday, bar owners announced that they’d file a lawsuit to force the issue, and the General Assembly passed a bill to allow bars to have outdoor seating. (They held off on filing the lawsuit after Governor Cooper agreed to a meeting.)

“Restaurants have been allowed to open,” writes PATRICK BURROWS. “The issue is the inconsistency that seems to be based more in moralizing about alcohol than about actual science.”

“There are tons of bars without any outdoor seating so the point is hardly moot if Governor Cooper signs [the bill] into law,” adds BEN YANNESSA. “Bars with no outdoor seating will remain closed, and bars with outdoor seating are not allowed to let customers inside other than for bathroom use. We have a long way to go before it’s an even playing field.”

“Having worked in the restaurant industry in many forms, including as a bartender, I think keeping bars closed makes perfect sense,” counters TROY REVELL. “They’re crowded. Their purpose is to get tipsy and socialize. I know several bartenders that agree. Be patient, hope to open them up in a few weeks after we see COVID-19 data following other businesses opening.”

“Breweries and distilleries are allowed to produce product,” adds KRISTEN K. HERNANDEZ, “not have people come in and drink it. Have you ever known a drunk person who can respect social distancing, stay out of someone else’s face, and wipe down surfaces before/after touching them? I damn sure have never.”

“People were out drinking at breweries this past weekend, and even more breweries are opening back up this week,” KENNY LLERA points out. “The brewers guild made enough noise, and Cooper let them open.”

“If people can hang out drinking beers at Lowes,” argues NEK ZEUGIRDOR, “they should be able to do it in a taproom as long as the same rules and guidelines are followed.”

“Yes,” replies JANET JONES, “certain grocers have a bar area where you can sit and sip. I’ve never had reason to inquire about ‘drinking in the aisles,’ so I’m guessing consumption is limited to that immediate area. Our society is becoming a more alcohol-saturated one. Just an observation.”

Want to see your name in bold? Email us, comment on or our Facebook page, or hit us up on Twitter.

DEAR READERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER. Support independent local journalism by joining the INDY Press Club today. Your contributions will keep our fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle, coronavirus be damned.