Governor Kevin Stitt’s order to limit the hours at restaurants and bars to slow the spread of COVID-19 impacts some businesses more than others.
Two bartenders at a downtown Tulsa bar said they make most of their money after 11 p.m. and are now worried about how they’ll pay their bills.
Starting Thursday, all bars across the state will have to close at 11 p.m.
The Tulsan Bartenders Logan Brinker and Kalee Hale both work at the bar located in downtown Tulsa on weekends, and said about 70% of their sales come between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. The majority of their income comes through tips during that time.
Both said after shutting down in the spring, business has picked back up and they've been busy throughout the summer and fall. Hale said when they shut down at the start of the pandemic, they qualified for unemployment, plus the extra $600 from the government.
With that expiring back in July, and no sign of another benefit, both are unsure how they're going to pay their bills.
Brinker uses the bartending job to pay for college.
"I am a full-time nursing student, so this is basically how I get through school," said Brinker.
Hale on the other hand works full time and it's her sole income. She said unemployment now for her wouldn't be enough.
"My hours are also going to be cut in half because we have six bartenders who normally work every shift and now, we have to have maybe two or three. I haven't done math, but it's going be a drastic change,” said Hale.
The bar is expanding its hours on weekends to try to make more money. It will now open at 2 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. and it's having the DJ come earlier as well.