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Bar owners scrambling to get ready to reopen but relieved to be serving again

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Bars in North Carolina are now allowed to reopen after Governor Roy Cooper announced loosened COVID-19 restrictions that begin Friday.

That means New Bern bar owners like Heather Haiss will be back to serving customers tonight after closing for nearly a year.

'After 343 days': Bar owners relieved to reopen to indoor service

Haiss and Brown Pelican employees spent the day cleaning, restocking and making adjustments to safely serve customers.

“My first reaction was, it’s too good to be true. It’s not going to happen. I was really thinking this summer. So, when we found out on Wednesday that we are opening on Friday, my next reaction was panic because now I have to remember what it’s like to own a bar and what we need to do. Luckily, all of my staff said they would come back to work so, I already had a schedule filled and now all I had to do is just get all of the supplies we need from toilet paper to top-shelf liquor."

Haiss said the bar barely survived the long closure but, now they will be open Monday through Sunday at 30 percent capacity.

MORE: Cooper eases COVID-19 restrictions, ends modified stay-at-home order as new cases tick up

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