Austin bars get ready to reopen this Friday

Gov. Greg Abbott says bars can open their doors to the public this Friday, and many owners plan on doing that. However, going to a bar won't be the same experience that most are used to.

Bob Woody, chairman of the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance, says it's about time. "I think we'll have a good crowd. I don't think we'll be as busy as we have been on Memorial [Day] weekend but I do think we'll have a really good crowd," he said.


Woody says the majority of the bars on Sixth Street will open their doors to customers this weekend for the first time in almost two months. Just like at the Blind Pig, there will be changes at all bars.

Lines down the sidewalk will indicate six-foot increments and once patrons make it to the front, Woody says they will be met by a doorman wearing a face shield, ready to screen each person coming in. If they look well, the doorman will sanitize the customer's hands and then they're good to go.


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On the patio, there will be no limitations, but inside, only 25 percent capacity will be allowed.

RELATED: Gov. Abbott waives late fees for TABC license and permit renewals

However, on Rainey Street, Bangers Sausage House and Beer Garden owner Ben Segal says it isn't as ready to open.

"There's quite a bit to think through in terms of how to keep your staff safe," Segal said. "How to keep the customer safe, how to create an experience, it's just not super awkward and not fun. And we just don't. I don't feel like we have a good enough plan to move forward right now."

Segal says his business actually falls into the restaurant category, but he still doesn't feel confident to open fully. He says he plans to eventually open back up but feels that this Friday is just too soon.

RELATED: Texas bars can reopen May 22; restaurants allowed at 50 percent capacity

"There is a way to do this, right? There is a way to coexist with this thing," Segal said. "But we all have to buy into that."

A mask isn't required for those heading out to the bars this weekend, but it is highly recommended.


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