As businesses have begun to reopen, some bars and music venues are booking live bands again. Many are taking precautions to ward off the coronavirus, and others have ramped up their entertainment schedules.
"Things have been going well. It started off slow, but it has been getting a little busier each week," said Andrea Chaffin with Tahlequah Elks Lodge No. 2602. "We are working on getting some contracts for some big concerts for August and possibly a music festival for September, since a lot of the festivals have been canceled. We are just hoping that our efforts aren't wasted due to this pandemic."
The Elks have moved into The Venue off Willis Road and have more room than the previous building. Most Friday nights will feature karaoke, and Saturdays will have live bands.
"Our tables are still socially distanced. We are still using throwaway single use cups," said Chaffin. "Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, we are limiting capacity to all events to 50 percent. We have masks available at the door and we have hand sanitizer available. We are purchasing a thermometer to have temperature checks at the door."
Tahlequah Elks will host the State Elks Horseshoe Tournament for Elk members on July 25.
While the Elks will have a birthday bash with nine bands on July 11, Ned's downtown is not scheduling any musicians for the next couple of months.
"I just didn't want to start bringing bands in from other states or towns with everything going on right now," said Kyle Drake.
Kyle Hancock, general manager of Dewain's Place, said they are currently not limiting the number of people who enter.
"We've been averaging between 80-120 people most Fridays at our peak," said Hancock.
Live bands play on Friday nights, and there is a $5 cover. Along with happy hours every day, special events happen all through the week: Monday, open mic; Tuesday, cornhole; Wednesday, beer pong; Thursday, Scotch doubles pool; Saturday, karaoke; and Sunday, eight ball pool. Live music will return to Sundays on July 12.
Kroner & Baer Pub is offering yard games for all ages in its downstairs area, and live music with no cover on most Fridays.
"We are not limiting the amount of people, but we are encouraging patrons to use outdoor spaces to allow more room for separation. Most people are doing just that unless it is super-hot outside," said Chris Whytal, owner.
The Branch has music two nights a week in July: Tuesday, 7-9 p.m.; and Fridays 8-10 p.m.
The Deck at Cookson Village has been hosting musicians on its outdoor stage since April, and people are flocking for themed food nights: Wings and Wine Wednesdays, Taco Thursdays, and Fish Fridays.
The Venue at Taylor Ferry is resuming its Second Saturday events, with music and happenings on the deck that overlooks Fort Gibson Lake. Sip and Shop and live bands run 2-6 p.m.
Check it out
The Tahlequah Daily Press runs a weekly A&E Calendar in each Fridays' e-edition, and it is available on www.tahelquahdailypress.com.