A popular, long-time hang-out for Shippensburg University students to gather with friends and have a few drinks is reopening after a months-long closure.
Wibs, a staple for students located at 209 N. Queen St., Shippensburg, announced Wednesday that it will reopen Feb. 18. Since opening its doors in 1989, the bar is a favorite for students to unwind after a week of classes.
But in March 2020 when the world seemed to stop due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Wibs, too, had to temporarily close its doors.
According to the bar’s Twitter account, Wibs initially closed March 16. It briefly reopened on July 8 before closing again on July 16. Officials said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus mandates and restrictions prompted the second closure.
As the 2020-21 academic year began, students wondered if the bar would reopen. In a letter sent to The Slate by Wibs’ Jeff England, England said financial and physical constraints led him to make the decision to remain closed as other local bars and restaurants reopened.
“Wibs does not normally offer sit-down, dine in service. You walk to the bar, order your drinks, then take them with you. Per Gov. Wolf, this is currently prohibited,” he wrote.
The current restrictions call for patrons to order “meals” with every round of drinks, according to governor.pa.gov.
England wrote that the additional employee payroll needed for wait staff, the decreased guest capacity and decreased late-night hours made it “financially impossible” for Wibs to reopen until the restrictions were no longer in effect.
Wibs will reopen Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. with a Happy Hour from 6-7 p.m. Last call will be at 11 p.m., following Wolf’s mandates, according to the tweet.
There is a “COVID-19 Pandemic Quick Reference Guide” available on the Wibs website. It includes six rules to remember:
- All customers and staff must wear a mask when not seated
- Alcohol can only be served with a meal
- No bar seating
- 6-feet of space between parties at tables
- All alcohol sales end at 11 p.m.
- Limited maximum capacity of 68
According to the bar’s website, drinks will only be sold with a “meal.” Hot dogs will be available for $1, pizza for $1.50 per slice or an entire pizza for $10.
Officials said tables will be spaced 6-feet apart and there will be no bar seating.
Wibs’ Daily Happy Hour is 6-7 p.m., all mixed drinks and shots half price and $6 pitchers at $1.50 drafts, excluding Guinness and energy drinks.