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Some Cape Coral bars jump at chance to stay open late, while others wait

A couple local bars in Southwest Florida are back in business at late hours. This comes one week after Phase 3 began in the state. But not everyone was ready for the quick turnaround.

Both Dixie Roadhouse and BackStreets Sports Bar in Cape Coral have been approved to stay open until 3 a.m.

Only five businesses in Cape Coral had extended hours before the pandemic, and BackStreets, along with Dixie, had their hours reinstated Friday.

It’s something people have different opinions about, and we even heard from some bar owners who aren’t sure if they’ll reapply to get those extended hours back yet.

“The economy is not our first priority,” said Karen Hanley in Cape Coral. “I think it needs to be everybody’s health.”

Hanley worries restriction are being lifted too quickly, as some bars begin to allow dancing and staying open into the early hours of the next day.

“We all need to think about our fellow community members of Cape Coral,” Hanley said.

We reached out to Dixie and BackStreets to see what kind of safety precautions they have in place; however, both businesses chose not to comment.

We were able to speak to Rack’em Spirits & Times in Cape Coral.

“You have a choice,” Heather Cleveland said. “I think that’s the best part of it. You have a choice.”

Across the street in the Cape Coral entertainment district, Shannon Yates, the owner of Nevermind, is just happy to be back to full capacity.

“As far as the late-night hours and stuff, it’s the first I’ve heard of it just now today from you guys,” Yates said. “If you ask me to put my pom-poms up, they’re not coming up.”

Both Nevermind and Rack’em had their permit for extended hours expire during the pandemic. And both owners told us they’re going to wait and see how business comes back before considering re-applying to the city.

Yates said he hasn’t noticed an uptick in business since Florida entered Phase 3, and his priority is keeping people safe and happy.

“I just assume go back and nurture the business that we have at the hours that have it,” Yates said.

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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