A Denver bar is enforcing a controversial new policy that requires people to show proof they have had a COVID-19 vaccine before they can drink inside.
Bar Max, which reopened last week for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit a year ago, is enforcing the vaccine policy for those who want to drink inside.
The policy will not apply to those who buy takeaway drinks and sit outside on the bar’s patio.
Marshall Smith, the owner of the craft cocktail bar, told CBS4 that he knows the policy is controversial and said people shouldn’t come if they don’t feel comfortable with it.
‘We are not refusing service to anyone. We still have takeout options, we still have a patio, what we are saying is in order to sit down and enjoy a cocktail, we’re asking that you be vaccinated,’ Smith said.
Marshall Smith, the owner of the craft cocktail bar Bar Max in Denver, said he knows the policy is controversial but people shouldn’t come if they don’t feel comfortable with it
Indoor dining is currently permitted in Colorado at 50 percent capacity but masks must be worn inside and social distancing adhered to.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted this week that the US government would not be putting in place a federal vaccine passport system that would require Americans to carry proof of their shot.
‘The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,’ Psaki said.
Smith said he decided to reopen for indoor dining after a year-long hiatus only after he had been vaccinated.
He said he has underlying health conditions, has elderly parents who have health concerns and is his brother’s caretaker.
The policy, in part, stemmed from concerns about keeping them safe, Smith said.
‘To be in a position where I don’t have to decide, ‘Am I risking someone getting sick and possibly dying in order to pay my bills?’ That’s a huge relief,’ he said.
‘I’m not an essential service. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, don’t come.’
The bar was immediately slammed over the new policy with its Yelp page inundated with negative reviews as a result
The bar was immediately slammed over the new policy with its Yelp page inundated with negative reviews as a result.
Yelp was forced to disable comments on Bar Max’s page and put out an ‘unusual activity alert’ warning.
Some have accused the bar of discrimination with its new policy.
‘I used to support this business. Not anymore. Denver has plenty of places where they don’t discriminate. Go elsewhere!’ one Yelp review read.
Another read: ‘Heil! Must have papers to present yourself, comrade. This place is a colossal mess and poorly managed. Cant fix stupid.’
One reviewer said they still have COVID-19 antibodies so there wasn’t an immediate need to get vaccinated.
‘Guess they are not getting my business. I had Covid and still have Covid antibodies, so there is no need for me to get vaccinated now. Even if I didn’t have antibodies, some who have a very painful facial nerve issue, Trigeminal Neuralgia, that I also have are having worse pain after being vaccinated.
‘I can’t take that risk. I’m already on strong pain medication. First it will be that I’m banned from bars and restaurants. Then, it will be grocery stores, gas stations and then I’ll lose my job. Think about what you are doing here. Big brother will use this technology to control all of us eventually.’
Bar Max, which reopened last week for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit a year ago, is enforcing the vaccine policy for those who want to drink inside