TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Bars, including wine tasting rooms, craft breweries, and similar businesses will be allowed to reopen Friday as part of phase two of Gov. Abbott’s Open Texas plan.
KLTV’s Dante Nuñez has more on the restrictions that will be in place as those businesses reopen to the public.
Bars across the state will begin to operate at a new normal beginning Friday. Howard Charba, owner of Times Square Grand Slam, has two bars within his facility that will see modifications while adhering to the safety guidelines listed by Abbott.
“The biggest thing that we did, honestly, and nobody talks about it a lot is that air conditioning purification system that sanitizes as the air conditioner is running but were also following all the other guidelines in conjunction with Abbott’s request,” Charba said.
Abbott says bars or similar establishments may operate for in-person service up to 25% of the total listed occupancy inside the bar or a similar establishment. In his report, he also says customers should not loiter at the bar and should maintain six feet of social distancing between parties.
"We’re cleaning after everyone that comes in and before they sit down at the barstool. We will be wiping them all down, we’ll keep people in their area and keep them distanced apart,” he said.
Governor Abbott says to physically block off the bar and remove or block off bar stools at the bar. But Charba says Governor Abbott should’ve left the decision to reopen establishments, to local leaders.
“We’ve been prepared for this for over a month, it’s nice that Governor Abbott finally decided to do something. I wish he would’ve let the local leaders advise each county and each city what they can do as opposed to him unilaterally dictating to all of us what’s going on but I’m glad that it’s slowly looks like we’re pulling out of it in his eyes,” Charba said.
Gov. Abbott also considers having all employees wearing face masks and to clean and disinfect regularly touched areas.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has the ability to suspend any license that poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety. The first infraction will result in a 30-day license suspension.
For more information on the Abbott’s Open Texas Report, click here.