Harrys Bar DC faces unnecessary scrutiny
food Opinion

Harrys Bar in DC faces unnecessary scrutiny

Bart Smith

Editor in Chief

OPINION

Harry’s Bar, a DC landmark known for good eats and great drinks is facing a backlash concerning a recent viral video. The video, while brief in nature, shows bar patrons cheering on MPD as they walk in to grab a quick meal during their hectic shift.

Harrys is well known to law enforcement in Washington, DC – not due to crime but for the support shown to the underpaid and overworked policing staff.

The video in question shows a few patrons standing at the bar, not wearing masks or social distancing. In Washington, DC, there is a mandate requiring patrons to be six foot apart and wearing masks when not eating or drinking or not sitting at a table.

In order to understand the video, one must look at those rules. The patrons in question were all in the same group, impacting the required six foot regulation – due to their grouping, this should have been completely acceptable under the current mandates.

Also, while the mandate makes it clear that patrons indoors must be wearing a mask if not eating or drinking, these patrons were clearly drinking. The server you see walking through the crowd in the bright teal t-shirt is wearing a mask in accordance with the rules. I’ll also note that this server had no idea he was being filmed and no idea the video would go viral. Yet, he still wore a mask as instructed by Harry’s Bar..

With exception of the few at the bar, nearly everyone else not sitting at a table (again, it is not against the rules to be without a mask in DC while sitting at a table) was complying with the mask mandate rule.

Yes, it is true they were at or near the bar. However, where we lack understanding is simple – based on a viral clip, we cannot know how long they were there or why they were there. The area in question is a very narrow walkway. They could have easily been there because they were standing in the middle or the other side of the walkway, saw people coming and simply moved out of the way forcing them to stand momentarily next to the bar.

What are the chances of anyone walking into a restaurant and not seeing someone somewhere not getting the rules 100% correct? It is virtually impossible for a restaurant owner and staff to police 100% of the time – they are busy running their establishment.

Instead of trying to find a way to attack Harry’s Bar, maybe we should be praising such an establishment for actually doing what few small businesses are these days, respecting local law enforcement and the general safety and well being of those that walk through the doors of what is no doubt a DC landmark.

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