WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The final stages of Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plan for the state is in full swing, as bar owners can finally welcome back patrons after being closed for several months.
“It’s like, yes, now I can start making some real money,” Wichita Falls resident and booking agent Terry Williams said.
For Williams, having the bars back open is a tremendous relief, not only for him.
“When it comes to booking bands somewhere, I know what I’m doing and I’ve already had bands call me today wanting to know where I can put them,” Williams said.
On Monday, Abbott announced bars could reopen on Friday with a limit of 25 percent capacity. Leaving bar owners like Broken Tap’s Stacy Hawkins thankful but unsure of what to expect over the Memorial Day weekend.
“Friday afternoons and Friday evenings were great,” Hawkins said. “A lot of people would come in after work, get their weekend started. The Friday nights were busy. I don’t know what it’ll be like now, limited seating.”
Limited occupancy has created other obstacles in planning for safety and sanitation.
“It’s hard to decide to be fair about everything,” Hawkins said. “We have decided to ask people to have an hour and a half limit if we have a wait outside. So, they can come in, we’ll write their name down and after an hour and a half, we’ll tab them out and move in the next group. If we don’t have a wait we’ll let them stay longer but we don’t want to offend anybody, we don’t know if anyone will be offended, hoping they’ll understand. I think they will.”
As for Williams, he has his plan for the night.
“I’m going to go probably to Maplewood because I know one of the bartenders and the owner,” Williams said. “So, I’m probably going to go there and once I get somewhat lit at Maplewood I may end up at Fat Alberts.”
While things will not be the same for a while, it’s money once again for bar owners, and a return to normalcy for customers. So both can cheers to that!
Hawkins also said her bar was lucky because they got to keep their entire staff.