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In anticipation of being able to once again serve customers, the Buccaneer Lounge owner Jennifer Higdon was once again setting up her outdoor patio Wednesday in hopes that she will be able to reopen soon.
- Bars that don't serve food have not been allowed to reopen for most of the pandemic. Many are barely hanging on. Well, the hope is they can reopen in the next few weeks as COVID numbers continue to fall. KCAL 9's Jasmine Viel has more on one Sierra Madre bar that just got some much needed help.
JENNIFER HIGDON: The Buccaneer lounge has been closed for just shy of a year now.
JASMINE VIEL: In a desperate plea for help Jennifer Higdon, whose family owns the Buccaneer Bar in Sierra Madre, made this video for Barstool Sports a big online media company that started raising money last year to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
JENNIFER HIGDON: We're very uncomfortable asking for help. We are proud and this closure really has been a difficult time for us.
JASMINE VIEL: Her video worked. It got the attention of the Barstool Fund, which will cover the Buccaneer's monthly expenses for at least three months.
JENNIFER HIGDON: After the call, the money was in the account two days later.
JASMINE VIEL: It's a lifeline Higdon needed for her popular dive bar that shut down last March.
JENNIFER HIGDON: You can see our walk-ins are empty. This is all the merchandise that needs to go back, that has expired once again for the second time.
JASMINE VIEL: The Buccaneer has lost more than half a million dollars in revenue over this past year and they're still paying out about $8,000 a month in costs like rent and other expenses.
JENNIFER HIGDON: There's no organization to help us. It's fend for yourself.
JASMINE VIEL: Earlier this month under the state's red tier, breweries and wineries that serve food were allowed to reopen at 25% capacity. Those that don't serve food can reopen for outdoor service with certain safety modifications. Higdon doesn't understand why bars weren't included.
JENNIFER HIGDON: We're super happy for the breweries and wineries. It's, what about us?
JASMINE VIEL: Both LA and Orange County are on the verge of moving into the orange tier, which means bars can reopen, but outdoors only.
BARBARA FERRER: These are places where people can not be wearing their mats and not keeping their distance for long periods of time if you're not really careful.
JASMINE VIEL: So Higdon is once again setting up her outdoor patio, hoping this time she'll be allowed to get back to business and that people show up to support their local bars. In Sierra Madre Jasmine Viel, KCAL 9 News.