TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona Department of Health Services is loosening its rules, allowing bars to offer games and karaoke during the COVID-19 pandemic, two things not allowed previously when reopening.
It’s another step in helping these establishments stay afloat as some businesses use games and karaoke to attract most customers.
The change goes into effect immediately.
One restriction still in place: Dancing. Billiards, darts and karaoke are back on the table again, including axe throwing.
“Am I grateful? Yes. Do I think it’s ridiculous the restrictions they still have in place? Yes," said Spencer Golish, owner 414 Pub & Pizza in Tempe.
The pandemic has taken his business to the bottle of the barrel and back again when karaoke was restricted.
“When they shut karaoke down in August, we’ve been struggling because we do it nightly at 414, so that’s kind of our bread and butter," Golish said.
The games are back on but with several restrictions such as social distancing and with fewer players. Those singing must keep their masks on.
Ilan Wurman represents 130 class six bars suing the state for its pandemic imposed regulations. He says, “This will allow my clients, these bar owners have been really struggling, to start to draw more customers back by offering these games."
Wurman says this does not change the lawsuit. They will be seeking $12 million in damages split between 130 clients.
He expects the judge to rule on the preliminary hearing in the next few days.