AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time since mid-March, a handful of bars on 6th street reopened midnight Thursday. The bars only remained open for two hours, and that’s because technically under Governor Greg Abbott’s second phase to reopen Texas, it allowed bars and other businesses to reopen on May 22.
Bar owner Bob Woody told KXAN he checked with the Reopen Texas Task Force and got the go-ahead. He plans to reopen all of his bars Friday night.
Friday’s bar opening scope looks differently across the board. In Williamson County, many breweries have opened up, but there choosing to stick to outdoor seating.
For the last 67 days, Redhorn Coffee and Brewing in Cedar Park has been doing to-go orders. Friday, brewery opened up in what they’re calling a hybrid way.
“We’ve been chomping at the bit and ready to pivot when the officials said that we could,” said Chad Misner, Co-Owner of Redhorn Coffee and Brewing. “We’ll get through the weekend, and maybe get through next week and do what we always do, and be nimble and pivot when we feel like we are ready and it’s safe for our staff.”
The coffee house and brewery is using what’s generally their outdoor event set-up for the time being.
Little Woodrows, which is an Austin-area chain is choosing to open up it’s indoor seating. Customers must have their temperature checked to get inside the door.
At the Square in Downtown Georgetown, you’ll find a well-known winery open for business.
“Most people are taking their drinks outside the courthouse lawn,” said Daniel Marek, Owner of Georgetown Winery.
Marek is, however, offering indoor seating.
“As of Friday, we can only have 10 people to sit which are spaced 8 feet apart,” said Marek. “We are not using glass, we are using plastic cups until this flies over a bit.”
Some local dance halls also plan to reopen including Broken Spoke after an extended ‘last call.’ Owner James White said he’s ready to reopen.
“If you don’t have any fun out of life, what’s the use of even existing, as far as I am concerned,” he said.
At present, with new guidelines in place, James said he doesn’t expect people to get on the dancefloor at this time.
“I always let the people let the music take them where it does,” he explained. “I don’t think that we will see people that want to dance that much at first. I think they’re going to be happy to come in and sit down and drink a cold beer.”
Another well-known south Austin musician and bar owner, who did not want to be identified, said he doesn’t understand the idea behind discouraging dancing.
“I just think it comes natural and it’s part of being a human being and I am not going to discourage people from being a human being,” the south Austin bar owner said.
The bar owner said he would prefer to wait a little longer before reopening but he needs to now because the bills are piling up.
At Broken Spoke, White also questions the move to discourage dancing.
“Most of the time we have couples or we have families, and when we get couples a lot of them are married and a lot of them probably live together and I’m thinking well hell, they sleep together, what the hell is wrong with dancing together?” he questioned.
But for now, White will do his best to walk to the beat of the state.
“I don’t know, I think it’s something that the governor meant he’d rather us not do it but it’s not against the law to do it.”
Thursday, KXAN asked Facebook followers if they had plans to visit a bar in the next two weeks, and they overwhelmingly said they would not — 496 people said no, 127 said yes.