by Robin Beaudoin Ownby | photos by Demarcus Bowser Photography
Dru’s Bar suffered an extended closure due to the pandemic immediately after going nonsmoking, building a new deck at the back of the bar, and switching to a full bar from beer-only. “Our goal has been safety,” says Tami Montgomery, owner and operator.
The bar followed Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s ‘Stay-at- Home’ order, to protect its employees and customers, which Montgomery says, are the top priority. Their process of reopening has exceeded safety requirements set by the city and state.
Here’s a list of all the new safety precautions and improvements since reopening:
- Capacity is currently limited to 40 people
- Temperature checks at the door
- Hand sanitizer stations located in three areas of the bar
- Masks are provided to encourage compliance with the new city ordinance that requires them
- Employees are currently required to wear masks or shields
- Seating at the bar is eliminated; tables are spaced apart
- Floor signs demonstrate the 6-foot distance
- Drag and karaoke performances are all no-touch
- Tipping is digital
- Cleaning is performed throughout the day and night for all surfaces touched by customers and employees
- The bar is deep-cleaned at closing. An ozone generator is used overnight as an added level of sanitation. Plus, the bar (and patio) is fogged each morning with a sanitizer.
- Every 30 days, for even extra safety, all air ducts and vents are treated with a 90-day chemical that kills the coronavirus.
- Shortened hours of operations to allow for the new safety measures: Sun.-Wed. 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Thur. – Sat. 3 p.m. – 12 a.m. They hope to be able to increase the hours soon.
- Dru’s no longer allows smoking inside. This had been in the works before the pandemic began.
- There is a new outdoor patio where smoking IS allowed. It is complete with a projector that gives a feed of what is happening on stage.
“It’s a process that changes daily,” emphasizes Montgomery. Visit Dru’s Place bar at 1474 Madison Avenue, Memphis.