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Downtown Denver bars celebrate a socially distanced Labor Day weekend

Posted at 6:40 AM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 08:49:23-04

DENVER — With half the seating closed off and caution tape lining the counter, Brothers Bar and Grill in downtown Denver is still celebrating the end of summer by doing what it does best — bringing people together, in a socially distanced manner, of course.

"I don’t know what Mother Nature had planned but she was just like, ‘It is the last days of summer — we are going hot,'" said Mike Garza, the bar manager at Brothers Bar and Grill. "It has brought people in to refresh themselves with some drinks."

The bar, located in Denver's LoDo neighborhood, has taken a hit in recent months. Like so many others, it was impacted by the coronavirus and social distancing restrictions.

"It has been tough on us in the industry," said Garza. "Hours have been cut. Days have been shortened. Also on top of that, it is at 50% capacity."

But he says the bar has managed to make a business model work, while also taking note of COVID-19 restrictions mandated by the city and state.

"We did have that 10 p.m. curfew and (Gov. Jared) Polis finally pushed it back to 11 and that has really helped out," he said. "We have always managed to make it work. So that is always the best thing."

Labor Day weekend brought a bump in business as well, he said, with Denverites seeking an unofficial close of summer celebration.

"We have had a couple of lines this weekend so people are really looking forward to ending summer with a last hoorah," he said.

Another support for struggling bars has been sports which he said "is bringing people out slowly but surely."

The patrons of Brother's Bar say they are happy to enjoy summer, no matter how short it has been.

"Last big bang of summer," said customer Will Hawthorne. "I am still going to be enjoying the summer as long as it lasts."