East Texas restaurant, bar owners concerned about bottom line following governor’s new order

East Texas restaurant, bar owners concerned about bottom line following governor’s new order

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A Tyler restaurant owner explains how the latest order from Governor Abbott will cut back on workers’ hours.

Beginning June 26 at noon, bars and similar establishments that get more than 51% of sales from alcohol are required to close. However, they can remain open for delivery and take out. The owner of Outlaws in Longview, Melissa Lynn Kelly describes why she will not be following Gov. Abbott’s recent order.

“We can’t do it. Not trying to get against the governor but I have bills to pay and my bill collectors aren’t telling me, ‘hey, you’re shut down, don’t worry about your bills.' I have employees to pay that I have families.”

Kelly says she this year’s business hasn’t been good.

“We were shut down for eight weeks, beginning the end of March and that has really hurt us…we are barely surviving is what it comes down to.”

The order also says beginning June 29, dine-in restaurants will revert back to a 50% occupancy. Owner of The Diner in Tyler, Lloyd Nichols says, this will impact his staff.

“It will have a negative impact to our sales, it will probably put us in a loss position, most restaurants. It will reduce our employee hours; they will be working less.”

Kelly bought her bar seven months ago and she explains how closing her doors would impact her

“If I shut down, I’m just going to have to give them my license because after the last shut down, and not receiving any kind of government help another shut down will kill me. It would do just that, it would shut me down. I would no longer be open.”

Kelly is aware of the ramifications of keeping her doors open.

“I’m going to be open, and I’m going to go down with a fight.”

For some bar owners, this is the second time in less than four months that bars have been forced to lock back up.

Rafting and tubing businesses must close and local governments must approve outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people with certain exceptions, as well.

WEBXTRA: Tyler restaurant owner responds to Gov. Abbott’s new executive order on restaurant capacity

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.