What to expect at Austin bars, restaurants ahead of Spring Break

Central Texas has gained an extra hour of sunshine just in time for an eventful week. Spring Break starts Monday for UT Austin and Texas State University students, March Madness kicks off and St. Patrick’s Day is on Wednesday. 

This comes after Governor Abbott announced that businesses can open at 100% capacity and masks are no longer mandated statewide. However, the City of Austin shortly after issued its own mask mandate, resulting in some confusion regarding mask-wearing.

"It’s the question on everybody’s mind right now, " said Taco Vasquez, assistant general manager at The Tavern off N. Lamar Blvd.

Unfortunately for customers, different businesses are implementing different standards.

For example, at The Tavern, their employees will continue to wear masks but their customers are able to decide for themselves.

"We do the best to cater to both sides," said Vasquez. "We want to make sure we’re still here tomorrow, but we want to make sure you want to come here today."

Other bars, like the Crown & Anchor Pub, are continuing to mandate mask-wearing for both employees and staff, according to a Facebook post. 

More than 40 other Austin businesses have joined a coalition called "Safe In Sound" - pledging to adhere to certain safety standards.

At The Tavern, they’re sticking with what they’ve been doing for a while and thankful they haven’t had to shut down once so far during the pandemic. 

"We’re going to be here slinging drinks and making food and having a good time, as long as we can do it safely," said Vasquez. "We’re going to make sure the staff’s being taken care of, and the customers need to make sure their personal responsibility kicks in, whatever that may mean to you."