Kilroy’s Sports Bar reopened Wednesday for the first time since March with COVID-19 precautions such as table reservations. As of Thursday night, reservations were sold out through Saturday.
The reopening and COVID-19 policies were released in a statement on Facebook and Instagram Jan. 30. The statement did not set a reopening date. In a post Wednesday, the bar invited people back. Staff are required to follow COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing masks, according to the bar’s Facebook page.
The Jungle Nightclub will be closed for the time being to allow easier social distancing, according to the Jan. 30 statement.
In the statement, Kilroy’s Sports Bar said it will not accept walk-ups to prevent crowds. Instead, bar-goers must make reservations through LineLeap, an app designed for table reservations at college town nightclubs and bars.
Most table reservations are $100 for 10 people, according to LineLeap. Reservations last up to two hours. Depending on the night, there are six to 10 tables available through LineLeap. Each table can seat up to 10 people. On some nights, four person tables at the Tiki Bar are available for $40.
A video showing a line of people wrapped around The Jungle Nightclub and Kilroy’s Sports Bar was posted in a Bloomington subreddit Wednesday.
Customers are not to leave the group they arrived with, according to the Jan. 30 statement. Additional precautions include temperature checks upon arrival, social distanced seating, hand sanitizer stations and separate entrances, according to the Kilroy’s Sports Bar website.
Co-owner Kevin Fitzpatrick said in an email that Kilroy’s management met with city, county and IU officials to discuss reopening plans.
“We look forward to welcoming our guests back to our venue tonight,” Fitzpatrick said in an email Thursday. “We look forward to a time when the Kilroy’s traditions can be enjoyed with the COVID pandemic as a distant memory.”
The owners will take Kilroy's Sports Bar’s reopening experience into account when planning when to open Kilroy’s on Kirkwood, according to the statement from Jan. 30.
People in the Bloomington community expressed varied opinions about the reopening on social media. Some worried about how responsible bar-goers will be with COVID-19 precautions. Others showed some support for the reopening.
CJ Heugel, who graduated last semester, said he does not feel comfortable attending any bar until everyone who wants a vaccine receives one.
“I have been very pleasantly surprised with the fact that it’s been closed,” he said.
Heugel said he understands how refraining from going out can be difficult but it ultimately keeps people safe. As an essential worker, he said he feels frustrated when people go out, especially to bars, because it puts his coworkers at risk.
“Everytime that somebody goes out like that, not only are they putting themselves at risk, but they’re putting my friends in danger,” he said.