NC BARS CAN NOW SERVE PATRONS INDOORS, AT 30% CAPACITY: For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic nearly one year ago, bars will be able to serve drinks indoors. Starting Friday, Feb. 26, bars can open up inside at 30% capacity. Patrons will still need to stay socially distanced, remaining seated at a table or counter, and will need to wear a mask when not actively eating or drinking. Technically, bars have been open since October 2020, but that only allowed outdoor service and limited capacity to 30%, which in some cases meant only one or two tables. With those limits, many bars remained closed through winter. Bar owners have lobbied for months to reopen and even filed multiple lawsuits against the state, each one unsuccessful. The new alcohol curfew is 11 p.m., pushed back from 9 p.m., where it’s been since December.