Mark Robertson estimated his businesses will lose $250,000 this month. Robertson co-owns three gay bars in Chicago—The SoFo Tap and Meeting House Tavern in Andersonville and Jackhammer in Rogers Park—and all were forced to close after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered bars and restaurants to shut down amid the nationwide outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus. Pritzker also halted public gatherings of 50 people or more.
Even though the bars will be closed until March 30 at the earliest, Robertson said the issue is that their “fixed costs don’t go away.” He and partner Mike Sullivan still have to take care of rent, insurance, and utility bills, in addition to the liquor they had already purchased. However, they no longer have the revenue to pay for them.
If the businesses aren’t reopened within two months, Robertson added that they are “probably looking at $350,000” in potential losses.