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Why This Type of Bar is the Most Dangerous Now

The things that make them unique could also make them the most risky.

Many restaurants require customers to wear a mask inside and allow them to take it off when they are seated to eat. They may have large dining rooms that allow each table to be six feet apart. There also could be plenty of outdoor space to seat customers.

But everything about bars that make them great places to hang out, watch a game, and get some food are now reasons they can be unsafe. One type in particular is the most dangerous bar. It's usually smaller than restaurants, making it harder to social distance (especially when sitting at the bar). They also can be dark, and many only accept cash.

Dive bars are already hurting due to shutdowns, but mandatory social distancing regulations could hurt them even more, according to Eater. For many, being able to sell carryout drinks and the limited amount of food they have isn't cutting it. But the very things that bring in customers in the first place before the pandemic make them the most dangerous bar and keep customers away.

Related: This is Now the Fastest Way to Check if a Restaurant is Safe

"Bars that are solely bars, with no restaurant attached, have to come up with ideas to make stuff work," Susan Carnel, who owns a bar called the Living Room in Los Angeles, told the Eater. "I asked one of my bartenders, 'If we open up in July, are you coming back?' And he says he doesn't know. And I get it. I would have a problem with that too, especially if there's no cure for the virus."

The Living Room is working with a restaurant next door to share outdoor space, and the CDC says this is one of the safest ways to eat out. For places without that opportunity, expect a significantly smaller crowd inside, and, of course, tables six feet apart. Don't be surprised to get your temperature taken before you go in, either. Check out 8 things you'll see in bars when they reopen to be fully prepared before you go.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda
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