BG Dining Regulations

Restaurant patrons in Frederick County will have to continue abiding by the 10 p.m. closing time as County Executive Jan Gardner announced Friday the mandate for restaurants and bars to close will continue in the county despite state changes.

County Executive Jan Gardner announced Friday night she would not yet implement the governor’s executive order from a day earlier that would have allowed restaurants and bars to stay open past 10 p.m. beginning Monday.

Gardner (D) said the positivity rate and case rate per 100,000 people in the county were above the state average and the “coronavirus continues to spread at a high rate in Frederick County.”

“Because our hospitalizations are still extremely high and because our new case rate reflected in positivity rates and in cases per 100,000 population are above the statewide average, I want to maintain the limitation for two additional weeks and will reevaluate the situation at that time,” Gardner said in a prepared statement.

That means the restrictions could remain in effect until at least Feb. 15. But Gardner said via phone Friday she could revisit the decision a week before then if critical health metrics like hospitalizations and case rate per 100,000 people trend enough in the right direction.

Gardner signed an executive order Friday keeping the restriction on bars and restaurants in place. She said the current level of hospitalizations countywide — along with input from other county officials — is what caused her to keep the 10 p.m. closing restriction on bars and restaurants.

The health metrics have gone from “horrible to bad,” and there is still widespread virus in the community, worse than what the state averages are, she said.

Gardner said Frederick County has distributed millions of dollars in grants for restaurants through state and county funds. More money is coming from the coronavirus relief bill that Congress passed in December, she added.

“I recognize that all of these decisions cause a certain amount of economic hardship for people,” Gardner said when asked about current hardships restaurants and bars face. “I’m really trying to balance public health and welfare, and I think that is my priority.”

Dan Caiola, owner of The Derby Restaurant and Bar in New Market, said it was a “shame” Gardner would not follow the governor’s lead on closing times for restaurants and bars.

Caiola added he and staff want to follow proper public health guidelines but that business has been down since the beginning of the pandemic last year. And two busy upcoming days, Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl, are coming up next month.

“What are we supposed to do, tell people that with five minutes left in the game they have to leave?” Caiola said of Super Bowl Sunday.

At the Cellar Door on East Church Street in Frederick, bartender Erin Kirunova was already putting together late-night shifts and had reached out to DJs and security staff about returning to later hours before Gardner shut down those plans for the time being.

She found out the news just after 7 p.m. Friday from a customer who was sitting in the restaurant and happened to come across it on Facebook.

“I was quite annoyed and frustrated,” Kirunova said. “I mean, this is my only job. This is my means of living. Our establishment here, we’re more of a late-night place. So, that took a big hit. We were able to work with 50 percent [capacity]. We could do that, not a problem. The fact that we lost our biggest hours of business, that hurt us.”

Joe Mackey, the bar manager at Taco Daddy Cantina and Tequila Bar on North Market Street, was excited when Gov. Larry Hogan lifted the late-night restrictions Thursday because the restaurant does a lot of business later in the evening.

“But I do also understand, you know, wait a couple of weeks, see how it goes in the other areas, see if the numbers rise,” he said. “So, we definitely are understanding about it. But we are eager to get back to staying open later.”

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(54) comments

public-redux

Just imagine if Kirby Delauter had been CE during Covid.

Comment deleted.
phydeaux994

What led you to that conclusion piddle, the last 👎👎👎Republican Administrations?😂🤣👅

phydeaux994

Nothing good happens after 10:00 p.m.🕙🏴‍☠️🛂🆘🕰⛈🔥🌪☄️🕷🦂🦇🧟‍♂️👹🤕🏥

jth7100

10pm? Thanks Obama!

Comment deleted.
Hayduke2

Yup, most to nollify Trump's dumb ones...

Comment deleted.
threecents

Pdl, You are on drugs.

yogib

Good call Jan.

Dwasserba

https://youtu.be/ZMGWLLDSA3c Scientists speak on Bill Maher last night.

gabrielshorn2013

Interesting episode of Maher's show.

TomWheatley

“So each one of you agrees to disagree with whatever the other one agrees with, but if you both disagree with the same thing, aren't you really in agreement?”

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/779149-so-each-one-of-you-agrees-to-disagree-with-whatever

FrederickFan

A good decision. People need to recognize that even when you go to restaurants and bars, it is suppose to be with people in your own household. The reference to Superbowl parties indicates that people still don't get it and that parties and social gatherings spread the virus. I care about our healthcare workers and other people. Does anyone else?

Big Easy

Have another drink of the Koolaid

gabrielshorn2013

On what basis do you disagree with that statement, BE?

phydeaux994

Big Easy, welcome to the RRR(RadicalRightRepublican)/BTT(BullyTagTeam) minority side of the FNP Opinion Forum. They certainly are in need of reinforcements. Are you new to Frederick County/City or are you an Old Guard with a new handle? No matter, we’ll just listen to the old lines repeated again, starting with “Have another drink of Koolaid”.

Big Easy

It's official, Frederick County has become Northwestern Montgomery County. Add this to the other swamps that need to be drained as well. Funny (and sad) how people leave areas that are decaying and declining mostly because of the decisions that politicians made but they continue to vote for politicians that think the same way in their new area.

Awteam2021

Funnier (and happily) more people are coming to counties that are blue 🤷‍♂️.

Hayduke2

Is this really user1 ? Did you change your handle so you could look like someone new posting nonsense?

Big Easy

Just wondering, how do you feel about the hundreds of strangers that mingle about in Walmart, Target, HD, Lowes, Wegmans, etc. every day?

gabrielshorn2013

They're all supposed to be operating at reduced capacity, but with full parking lots during peak hours, there is no way they are complying with the law. In the beginning they all had a "counter" at the door, counting people in, people out. Those "counters" are no longer in place.

Hayduke2

Still have one at the Walmart in Mt. Airy. Went in to buy some bird seed and saw them doing the clicker...

gabrielshorn2013

Not at either Frederick location hay. To really illustrate folks ignorance regarding proper separation protocol, I just drove past Dutrow's on 40W, where they are having an auction. Everyone is crowded nuts to butts around the auctioneer.

shiftless88

BigE; they aren't drunk. Well, probably not... It is well known that drunkeness makes one less attentive to things like masks and distancing.

Hayduke2

FF- [thumbup][thumbup]

bosco

Frederickfan sez......."People need to recognize that even when you go to restaurants and bars, it is suppose to be with people in your own household."

I missed that restriction. Where does it say that I can't dine with friends?

newspostreader

bosco - It is in the restaurant requirements as part of their reopening a while back. No more than 6 people per table and all people at the table must be from the same household.

bosco

Thanks, reader, I recall that statement. Does it still apply? As soon as some our friends are all vaccinated we plan to hit one of our favorite restaurants for an evening meal. Maybe we should carry our vaccination cards

neilyoungfan25

Good to know the Corona works harder after 10pm!

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup] Yeah, neilyoungfan25. Ridiculous, isn't it?

FrederickFan

So marinick....you think FCC should be all virtual but bars should be open. Seems a bit hypocritical.

Big Easy

Everything should be open and people need to use common sense which obviously very few people have anymore

threecents

Too many people don't use common sense, which is why the pandemic got worse and why Gardner made the decision. If you look objectively, this is a reasonable decision - whether or not you agree with it. So enough with the hyperbole. Mmkay?

Hayduke2

no , but the alcohol sure kicks in around that time.

bosco

Bars bad. Schools good.

threecents

How about Schools essential. Bars not so much.

C.D.Reid

WHAT?????

public-redux

To whom?

mgoose806

I guess at end of day Hogan is a Republican and Jan is a Democrat. Follow the politics... I mean the science. Elections matter

Dwasserba

https://youtu.be/ZMGWLLDSA3c Scientists say alarming things but listening is so hard..

chris

Grateful she made this difficult call. People will have to wait a little longer to spread the new variants around.

Big Easy

So dangerous

public-redux

If you’ll waiter a few minutes, I’ll serve up some more. Maybe even s’mores.

bosco

too funny, publix. Thanks for the smiles.

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][beam] public!

public-redux

Drives a stake thru the midnight steak.

public-redux

Ties up the Thai.

public-redux

She is a foe of late night pho.

public-redux

Actually, it should be “says nuh to pho”.

Dwasserba

[thumbup]pb correct. Often mispronounced.

public-redux

Bars the Bar-B-Q.

public-redux

Jan puts the kibosh on the kebabs.

threecents

The real reason why the FNP needs moderators.

public-redux

Slayers of word players.

threecents

Ouch. 🙄

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