Ready to serve: Bars, wineries, others allowed to reopen |

Ready to serve: Bars, wineries, others allowed to reopen

Bars, wineries, hotels, fitness facilities, campgrounds, card rooms, museums and galleries – all have been given the green light to reopen today in Nevada County after approval from the county’s health department was announced Thursday, in alignment with the state’s Stage 3 variance county guidelines.

Reopening businesses can only do so after making modifications to their establishments, including posting signage regarding social distancing, installing plexiglass guards between booths or spacing seating six feet apart.

Statewide, child care, day camps, tribal casinos, music, film and television production, and professional sports without audiences have also been given the go ahead.

“It’s great news that we are a variance county,” Nevada County Public Information Officer Taylor Wolfe said. “We’re really excited.”

While the county is moving ahead with Stage 3 reopening, officials are cautioning that COVID-19 is still a threat to the community and that modification guidelines for businesses need to be heeded.

“It comes down to conversations with our businesses,” Wolfe said. “It’s extremely important that the guidelines do need to be put in place before they reopen.”

“I’ve got good response from folks running bars, wedding venues, camps,” Nevada County Environmental Health Director Amy Irani said.

“It’s important that we don’t rush into this too fast, it could cause us to then take several steps backwards,” she added. “(Businesses) really are taking it seriously.”

At Sierra Starr Vineyard & Winery in downtown Grass Valley, owner Anne Starr has prepped the tasting room to serve customers for the first time since mid-March. Blue tape on the bar and bar stools placed six feet apart denote a safe social distance for patrons.

“I’m apprehensive,” Starr said. “We’re going to see, but I’m hoping things pick up and move smoothly. We don’t want any new cases.”

Starr has been able to stay open during the stay-at-home orders, keeping the winery viable by serving customers curbside and taking online orders.

“We were lucky that we could still sell bottles, it kept us afloat,” Starr said.

At Wild Eye Pub at the end of Mill Street, owner Beth Moore has removed bar stools at the bar to help aid in social distancing.

“We’ve pulled most of our bar stools out,” Moore said. “We have five bar stools in play right now.”

Social distancing exceptions can be made if people come in together.

“If someone comes in and they’re a couple, we’ll let them pull two bar stools together,” Moore said. “When they leave, we wipe them down and we separate them again.”

Industries not included in today’s Stage 3 reopening include nail salons, massage and med spas, youth sports, after-school activities, gatherings of individuals from different households, and entertainment venues.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email, or call 530-477-4230.

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