Some Hays County bars see an uptick in out-of-towners on reopening weekend

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KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Many bar owners in Hays and Williamson Counties closed out their first weekend reopen on Sunday.

Both county judges opted into doing so — at 50 percent capacity, earlier this week.

“Saturday, last night, was so crazy busy. We were practically triple-booked,” said Sarah Norris, an employee at Unchartered Adventures in Kyle.

The facility has been open for a few months, but without alcohol.

That’s until they reopened the bar on Thursday.

“We were very surprised, we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off,” Norris said. “We sold like half of our beverages, alcohol, everything. We just had a really good night the first weekend with allowing alcohol.”

She said many customers came in from out town not just for the bar but for their “rage” rooms, where you can pay to smash things like bottles, bowls and TVs.

That’s the primary reason Edward Albano told KXAN he and his friend went there Sunday.

“We both lost multiple jobs. We were working part time at a lot of different places so being shut in, being shut out, not making any money. We’ve had to switch over to ride-sharing and other stuff that gets us by but not enough,” Albano said.

Albano made the trip to Hays County from Austin.

“A place like this, it’s shut off and it’s your own space and your own music and you can just take it all out,” he said.

Although he didn’t have drinks Sunday, he said it’s something he’d come back for with a group.

“Anything that’s open is where we want to go,” Albano said. “We didn’t have anything to do because there is no concerts, there is no place to dance really free and be yourself, so that builds up stress.”

Albano also hoped to see bars reopen in his area, soon.

“Just keeping your distance between people is just having decency and respect… If people can at least play nice outside then things will reopen sooner, I think,” he said.

Bars began reopening on Wednesday.

There are still rules, like keeping dance floors closed and wearing masks when not seated at a table.

Bars also have to stop selling alcohol at 11:00 p.m.

A spokesperson for TABC said their agents patrolled all weekend. He said they will have data on how that went on Monday.

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