ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Restaurants and breweries have the green light to bring back live performances and the state is clarifying what is and is not allowed. The Public Health Order has changed many times to meet the needs of an evolving pandemic, so there is some confusion on when these businesses were allowed to start having live performances. However, restaurants are ‘excited’ to bring back live music.
D.H. Lescombes Winery and Bistro in Albuquerque is getting ready to bring performers back. The assistant manager said prior to the pandemic, the restaurant had live music three to four times a week. “It’s just a great vibe that we get back when we have our music here,” said Javier Rocha, Assistant Manager at D.H. Lescombes Winery And Bistro.
He said since the Public Health Order was revised last week, bands and artists have been reaching out to the restaurant about bookings. “I’ve had a lot of bands call me up, shoot me emails,” Rocha said. “Now that we’re getting it back we’re really excited. We have a lot of bands that are looking forward to coming back. And I mean they’ve been with us for years.”
However, during a Q&A with businesses, a representative with the governor’s office said ticketed events are not allowed. “We haven’t specifically, necessarily banned live music from these types of places except to say all of the performers have to abide by the same restrictions as everyone else,” Daniel Schlegel, with the Governor’s Office, said. “If you have a jazz trio playing in the side of the venue or restaurant while people are dining that’s okay.”
Performers must follow COVID-safe practices like mask-wearing and social distancing. All patrons must also stay seated, no dance floors are allowed. D.H. Lescombes Winery and Bistro plans to bring performers back in April.
“They’re our extended family. So, they depend a lot on restaurants like us for, you know, being able to pay their bills and groceries. Some of them are retired and you know, this is, you know, extra money for them. So, I’m excited to have them back,” Rocha said.
While they are not ticketed events, karaoke and bar games are still prohibited by the state. It’s unclear if businesses could have had live performances before the latest Public Health Order update. KRQE asked the governor’s office about this but did not hear back in time.