Authorities focus on enforcing ‘last call’ order

Mecklenburg County focuses on enforcing last call order

CHARLOTTE — On Friday night, North Carolina's order restricting alcohol sales will go into effect. While that will be a change for some, businesses in Mecklenburg County are already under an alcohol curfew. 

Documents provided to Mecklenburg County commissioners show police have educated a list of businesses and warned at least one. 

The county is now focused on enforcing more rules and is zeroing in on gaming arcades that are still up and running. Law enforcement warned 15 arcades that opened around the city.

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Sources told anchor Blaine Tolison most businesses in Mecklenburg County are trying to follow the rules.

 Willie Ceballo owns three restaurants. When he was able to open in phase two, he wasn't sure at first. 

“Honestly, I didn’t wanna open because I’m a father and and I was thinking before anything about my family,” he said. 

During the stay-at-home order, Ceballo shut down his businesses, and he tested positive for COVID-19. 

“I was away from my kids, you know, not being around them,” he said.

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 Ceballo got back on his feet and reopened. 

He doesn’t hide the fact that La Revolucion at The Music Factory is a restaurant in the evening with drinks and a DJ later in the night.

Last week, CMPD and their partner agencies reminded him and a few dozen other restaurant owners to close by 11 p.m. under Mecklenburg County’s last-call-order. Ceballo said he follows the rules for the sake of safety and his reputation. 

“I mean, I wouldn’t want to risk it,” he said. “It’s going to hurt my reputation and it’s been only four years that we’ve been working on the family side.”

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Authorities also found some businesses that shouldn’t be open at all, including the Centenario night club in east Charlotte on North Tryon Street. It’s tucked behind an auto parts store and a bowling alley and opened Saturday night. Police also handed out warnings to more than a dozen arcades around the city.

Ceballo hopes more businesses follow the law, so everyone can get back to business as usual. 

Cooper: Alcohol sales at N.C. restaurants ending at 11 p.m.

Sources with the state told Channel 9 since they’ve been out with CMPD and deputies helping enforce Mecklenburg County’s order. They’re ready to step up their work in our surrounding counties, cities and towns.

There are differences between Mecklenburg County’s order and the state. The county’s is more restrictive. It also bans eating at restaurants that serve alcohol after 11 p.m., shared touch games and eating and drinking in bar areas.