In Virginia/Tennessee Border Town, Bars On One Side Of Street Must Close By 10 P.M. While Bars On The Other Can Stay Open Until 2 A.M.

Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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There is a town that sits on the Virginia/Tennessee border where bars on one side of the street must close at 10 p.m. while those on the other can stay open until 2 a.m.

“In Bristol, bars/restaurants on the Virginia side of the street have to close by ten at night, bars/restaurants on the Tennessee side of the street can stay open until two in the morning,” OutKick’s Clay Travis tweeted Thursday, along with a snapshot of the town.

“A perfect metaphor of COVID absurdity,” he added, along with a link to an Outkick article about the town’s rules during the coronavirus outbreak and how businesses on the Virginia side are struggling.

“You can watch it every evening,” J.J. Gillenwater, who co-owns the Quaker Steak [and] Lube franchise, told Travis during the Qutkick podcast. “We’re being held to a standard from northern Virginia, the D.C. area. It’s ridiculous. It’s two totally different areas of the country.” (RELATED: Dr. Fauci Said To Reopen Schools, And Close Bars — But Major School Districts Continue To Stay Closed)

Gillenwater and his business partner and co-owner, Blair Jones, said that each night they have to tell customers at 9:30 p.m. they are closing soon. Their customers immediately go over to the Tennessee side where the curfew in bars and restaurants stretches until 2 a.m.

“We are consistently losing money because of these restrictions,” Jones said. “Live entertainment has been curtailed which has impacted our late-night sales having to shut down at 10 p.m. It’s been a real killer for us.”

In January, Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam extended an executive order on bars and restaurants until the end of February as part of the state’s overall coronavirus restrictions, Outkick noted.