Nevertheless, bartenders in Copenhagen are frustrated. In November the frustration led into setting up a petition for extending the opening hours and consulting the industry on upcoming restrictions. There was also an industry demonstration on 16th of November, hosted by Carl Wrangel, Jarek Modzelewski, Miriam Gradel, Logan Flatte, Fanny Wandel and Max Scott. About 250 people took part in the demonstration in front of the Christiansborg Castle, which houses the Danish Parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State. Local bartender Sebastian Krunderup from Duck and Cover telled about the atmosphere amongst bartenders in Copenhagen in November.
– The purpose with the demo was to get the 10 pm closing restriction uplifted. The industry has showed it isn't the problem but actually the answer, as a lot of the bars and restaurants have been really strict with all the guidelines and taking responsibility.
According to Krunderup, the restricted opening hours led to problems instead of solutions.
– It only seemed to move the late hour parties to uncontrolled environments or street corners where the nearest 7-Eleven was located, because they were allowed to sell alcohol all night up until very recently - which took the government way too long to realise.
Local students had asked to keep the bars open until 2 am to prevent uncontrolled private parties.
– Bars know how to handle the situation, and keep within the restriction, opposed to all the late hour parties, with too many people in small apartments. They simply can't control it themselves, according to the stories that we hear.
Help packages - helping or passivating?
Since the interview in November, the industry has not received news about extending the opening hours - instead the government went the opposite way. From September bars and restaurants had to close at 10 pm. The restrictions were supposed to be valid until January, but on 10th of December bars and restaurants were instructed to close once again in many areas in Denmark, including Copenhagen.
The Danish government has supported the restaurant industry with help packages, but Krunderup sees problems in the way they are granted.
– In the beginning of the first lockdown, we thought about selling bottled cocktails and block ice so people could enjoy our drinks at home. But we found out very quickly that it would only affect the economic help packages we got from the government - so it was a bit weird actually having to not think of ideas and alternatives to provide for our regulars, and be passive.
Now the help package is granted if the income of the business is decreased by 30% or more compared to the previous year.
– It is also a bit stupid, that you on one side when we were allowed to serve customers, we were happy about being busy, but hoping not to make too much, to get the package. Would be annoying to miss out with a decreased revenue of 27% for instance.