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Idaho State Police Prioritizes "Education" Over Enforcement As Bars Reopen

beer tap, bar, alcohol
Marissa Anderson
Flickr Creative Commons

A handful of brewpubs and bars are staying open despite the threat of having their alcohol licenses pulled for flouting Gov. Brad Little’s reopening plan.

Hardware Brewing in the small town of Kendrick in north central Idaho received an official warning from state police Friday, telling the owners that their license was in jeopardy if they keep their doors open.

Bars aren’t allowed to reopen under the governor’s plan until at least mid-June.

The brewpub had reopened May 1, with politicians like Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin and Idaho Republican Party Chairman Raul Labrador in attendance, showing their support.

Christine Lowman, who co-owns the brewery, told the Lewiston Tribune that she would rather protest than shut down over the order. And she’s not the only one.

Slick’s Bar and Firehouse Sports Pub both reopened in Nampa earlier this month. According to the Idaho Statesman, Firehouse has significantly reduced capacity, closed pool tables and implemented other social distancing measures, but Slicks had not.

Alcohol and Beverage Control said it’s prioritizing education over enforcement at this time.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!