MONTGOMERY, Ala (WRBL)- No more late-night hours for Alabama bars, at least temporarily. The Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) Board voted Monday to stop all alcohol sales at bars, restaurants and entertainment venues past 11 p.m. during the pandemic.

This ruling will take effect Saturday, Aug 1. 

The ABC Board says the ruling is another way to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but some bar owners see it as punishment.

Bud Skinner considers his bar, Bud’s, the neighborhood spot. Like most bars in the state, Bud’s closed for weeks due to the pandemic.

“Not a single person filed for unemployment.  They stayed at work,” said Skinner.

But now for bars in Alabama, there’s a new twist.

In a 3 to 0 vote, the ABC Board decided to restrict alcohol sales for all restaurants, bars and entertainment venue past 11 p.m. during the pandemic.

“I will tell you it is a gut-wrenching decision for us that we’re making today,” said Col. Alan Spencer, ABC Board Chairman.  “We acknowledge that many of you are operating on a much smaller scale and doing everything possible to maintain social distance. Unfortunately, there are some operators who are not doing so.”

Skinner says his bar makes the bulk of its money after 11 p.m.

“We’re probably not going to be able to make much money operating only till 11 o’clock at night,” said Skinner.

The cut-off time is 11 p.m.  That means alcoholic beverages on premises must be consumed by 11:30 p.m.