South End bar that reopened in defiance of governor’s order forced to close

Popular South End bar shuts down after opening despite governor?s order

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A South End bar to close Thursday night after it opened despite the governor’s executive order.

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris told Channel 9′s Joe Bruno that she has directed officers to enforce the executive order at popular South End bar Pins Mechanical.

North Carolina is still in Phase 2, which means bars are not allowed to be open, but owner Troy Allen told Bruno they are doing so anyway.

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The bar is known, in part, for their arcade games and duckpin bowling. Allen said during the short time the bar was open, he would keep those closed because of Charlotte’s new restrictions. He planned to open up his space for service.

That was short-lived. Pins Mechanical closed early in the evening.

Allen said everyone was required to wear masks and that there was plenty of room to space out tables.

Pins Mechanical, company wide, made a six-figure investment to implement safeguards, such as installing UV lights to combat germs on duckpin bowling balls when they return.

“I would never open one of our locations if I didn’t feel comfortable bringing my family. We are people before profits,” Allen said.

Despite the safety measures, the county is still investigating the bar’s decision to reopen.

Allen said he knows reopening would cause scrutiny, but he said at this point, he had no choice but to do so if his business is going to survive.

“We’ve now been closed for four and a half months. As a business, we eventually have to make choices to save a business,” he said shortly before Pins Mechanical closed. “I am trying to save my business and I am trying to provide for my employees and their families.”

Allen said if there is an outbreak, one benefit of being a private bar is that he has a roster of everybody who was there for contact tracing.

Earlier this month, the governor extended Phase 2, which forces gyms, museums and playgrounds to stay closed too.

The earliest we could enter Phase 3 will be Aug. 7.

Here's what Meck County's new restrictions on alcohol sales will look like