Last call came early for Texas bars Friday. With a record number of new cases reported in the state yesterday, Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered bars to shut down again.
Abbott calls bars one of the reasons for the COVID-19 spike in people between the ages of 20-40.
One bar owner understands, but doesn’t like how this latest executive order happened.
“I’m on board with everything that they want to do, but we need some of notice,” said Cale Moore, co-owner of the Nueces Brewing Co.
At Noon Friday, Texas bars closed indefinitely. The executive order was announced around 9 a.m., giving bar owners like Moore three hours notice.
“We have to lay off people today, this morning, without any idea of when they’ll come back,” said Moore.
The governor’s order was in response to Texas’ positive test rate going above 10%, but doesn’t have an expiration date and no guidelines for when bars might reopen again.
“We cannot operate a business without some sort of plan, we don’t operate a business without a plan, they shouldn’t operate government and control businesses without a plan,” said Moore.
Moore had a crawfish boil planned for Saturday at the brewery. That will now be to-go only, as outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more now need local approval.
The order also affects restaurants scaling back capacity from 75% to 50%, starting Monday.
“If scaling back and putting these restrictions in place helps us to stay open, serve the public safely, and keep our staff safe, we’re 100% in support of that,” said Kathy Snapka.
In addition to Snapka’s Drive-In, Snapka is president of the Coastal Bend Restaurant Association; a group whose members were hit hard by the earlier stay-at-home orders.
“The restaurants in the Coastal Bend have all taken a big hit during this pandemic, but we’re grateful to be able to serve people who just want to come in and get a good meal,” said Snapka.
Snapka says the service industry was doing well since reopening, but now these business owners are again faced with uncertainty.