Local bar owners express frustrations after Abbott’s new orders: ‘I’m just livid’

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Local bar owners are expressing their frustrations after Governor Greg Abbott announced that bars will be allowed to open on Wednesday, Oct. 14, with the approval from county judges.

Co-owner of Iron Horse Pub, John Dickenson said it’s been exhausting trying to keep his bar open after doors closed due to the pandemic.

Dickenson purchased his food and beverage license a couple of weeks ago, which is $800, and said it’s aggravating having to pay for additional licenses just to hear he may be able to open back up as just a bar.

“Well I find it kind of odd that he put that designation out there for everybody to pick back up, if they wanted to,” Dickenson said. “[You] charge that kind of money and then two weeks later, say, ‘Well, you can just be a bar,'”

Stick’s Place owner Kim Stevens said she is frustrated after she purchased her food and beverage license as well, along with pouring thousands of dollars into a brand new kitchen to meet essential business standards.

“We knew that we were going to open, but we didn’t know when we were going to open. I’m just livid, to be honest, because we’ve been doing the same thing as restaurants have been doing all along. But we had to stop, spend thousands of dollars, to conform to the governor’s request,” Stevens said.

Dickenson said no matter what decision Judge Woody Gossom makes, he’s putting all of his trust in him because the decision made could impact the record COVID-19 numbers Wichita County has been reporting in the last two weeks.

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