ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Because of the pandemic, an Abilene bar owner was forced to choose between his business of six years and his home of four.
“I’ve lost my 401, as you can see around here, I’ve been living here at the bar for three weeks to try to keep this place afloat until we got the good news we could open,” Coy Chew, owner of Whiskey Girl said.
That day has finally arrived after they were unable to adapt 7 months ago when bars were given a chance to serve food.
“Places such as restaurants were, they did serve alcohol, but 51% of their revenue did not come from the sale of alcohol,” Downing Bolls, Taylor County Judge said.
But that just wasn’t an option for Chew.
“For me personally, I got Sharon Allen’s next to me, I got Galveston Seafood Company across the street, a Whataburger right here, nobody wants to drive across town to eat cheesesteaks at the Whiskey Girl,” he said. “You come here to play pool, have whiskey drinks after work, stuff like that. Food just did not make sense for us.”
After a total loss of over 200,000; or around 25,000 a month, he said they’re going to have to find a reason to get his customers back through the doors.
“Because people can drink at home if you’re going to sit down and not give them anything to do. So I think all of us bars are trying to figure out what our niche is going to be. Some are sports bars, some are pool halls, everybody has their own niche that we’re going to have to find to see what gets us our customers in,” he said.
But with no cure for COVID, and the disaster declaration simply extending, their future is still up in the air.
“I think we’re all scared of that, too, that we’re in here spending a bunch of money, buying hand sanitizer, cleaning, restocking our coolers full of beer, and what if in two weeks cases spike and he tells us we have to shut down again? So that’s always a fear,” he said.
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