CLINTON— Early Wednesday, a Clinton bar owner took to Facebook, posting about the impact the coronavirus pandemic has been having on his business.
Ray Detlefs, the owner of Ray’s Time Out, a bar and grill in Clinton, wrote that when this all first started, he thought he would be closed for maybe two weeks. Now that more than a couple of months have gone by, he wrote that he was disheartened that he could not run his business at its full capacity. Not to mention, his bar area was still closed.
Fast-forward to just a few hours later: Detlefs received the news he was waiting to hear when Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced during her daily press conference Wednesday that bars will be able to open May 28. Her announcement also specified that museums, zoos, and wedding reception venues can reopen Friday.
It all means that Detlefs can finally take the chairs down off the bar’s tables and allow his friends to fill them like old times.
Up to this point, Ray’s Time Out has been serving curbside carry-out meals. Detlefs said he is thankful the community has supported his business.
“I really want to stress, that carry-out curbside thing was tremendous,” Detlefs said. “The amount of people that came out and supported this place was unbelievable. Clinton is the place to be.”
But as Memorial Day approaches, both Detlefs and his manager, Fallon Morris, are eager to reopen the bar.
“We are very excited to see the people who haven’t been able to come out because of the restrictions,” Morris said. “We’ve gotten a lot of new customers over the last couple of weeks and we’re hoping to see that crowd grow.”
As Iowa continues to reopen, Reynolds also announced Wednesday that schools across Iowa will be able to resume school-sponsored activities and learning. She said more details will be announced in the coming days.
“I know that many parents and youth athletes are also eager to resume summer sports,” Reynolds said. “High school athletics was the logical place to start the process of bringing athletics back in season.”
The governor continued to restate the importance of Iowans doing their part during the pandemic, even with the relaxed restrictions.
“As we discussed since last week, it’s up to Iowans to decide when they’re ready to resume normal activities,” Reynolds said. “But it will continue to take all of us working together and practicing personal responsibility to keep virus activity at a manageable level and balance the health and safety with getting life and business back to normal.”
Detlefs and Morris said they understand that some people may not be ready to dine in. So they plan to continue their carry-out service to accommodate their customers as much as they can.
“I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since March,” Detlefs said. “People say I’m losing weight, and I say it’s stress. But it’s going to be nice to get everything back to normal, hopefully soon, and I can go back to normal and get a good night’s sleep.”