Judge Denies Bar Owners’ Request To Block State-Mandated Closing Time


Thursday, November 19th 2020, 6:35 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois


OKLAHOMA CITY -

A judge denied a request for emergency injunction against Governor Kevin Stitt’s order for bar and restaurants to close at 11 p.m.

A group of bar owners filed the complaint, and now plan to file a motion for a temporary restraining order, according to their attorney.

Plaintiffs include the owners of the Friends of Friends, Cowboy Ranch, Michael Murphy’s Piano Bar, the Pink Parrot Cantina, Bloom Nightclub and Club One15.

Jeff Rogers owns Friends, Cowboy, Bloom and Pink Parrot.

“We just want to be fair for everyone,” Rogers said.

Rogers argued that Stitt’s executive order targets bars and restaurants specifically, causing damage to the hospitality industry.

“Our employees have families to feed. And this is their livelihood, most of them. These guys live shift to shift,” Rogers said.

The complaint argued that closing bars early is arbitrary, as other gathering places like churches and casinos aren’t regulated statewide.

“There are a number of places where people gather in large crowds that are not following social distancing guidelines. We don’t have a mask mandate in Oklahoma. We are not doing other things to stop the spread of the virus that may be more reasonable,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jackie L. Dill, said.

A spokesperson for Stitt said he could not comment on any pending litigation but noted the executive order falls under the same authority as the others issued during the pandemic.