ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) While malls, restaurants, and stores are reopening, local bars remain closed.
“It’s already been two months paying the bills with no income. Nothing to supplement. No PPP or small business loans. We haven’t received any help even though we’ve applied,” says Cortney Levrets, a bartender and manager at East 80 Boozery and Lone Star bar.
Governor Greg Abbott unveiled a new phase to reopen the state earlier this week, excluding bars.
“We also, need to recognize kind of the very nature of a bar and that is that it brings people close together in a setting that really promotes the spreading of infectious diseases,” says Governor Abbott.
The governor’s orders state business may reopen as long as they make less than 51% of its profits from alcoholic beverage sales.
“I do think there is a slight bias because we are just a bar and we don’t have food. If we open with a minimum occupancy, provide sanitizer and spray in between people throughout the building,” says Levrets.
Levrets says one of the hardest parts is not having an idea of when they may reopen.
“Gyms are opening, salons are opening, tattoo shops, all these other quote-unquote nonessential places are being told a hopeful date and we’re still just told we’re on the back burner,” says Levrets.
She says a chance to unwind is something we could all use.
“We need to be treated as adults, as well and we need to be able to have our life decisions and if that is letting go of some of the stress having a beer with a friendly face then, that’s what we deserve,” says Levrets.