Fort Bend County bars ordered to shut down, restaurants to end dining in, effective midnight

HOUSTON – Bars in Fort Bend County are being ordered to shut down effective midnight Wednesday.

The order came from County Judge K.P. George Tuesday evening as Harris County, Houston and the city of Galveston also made similar orders to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the community.

“All bars, adult entertainment establishments and other business establishments that serve alcohol and do not serve food shall close,” George said.

Bar patrons like John Burk are not happy with the county-wide order.

“It sucks,” Burk told KPRC 2 Tuesday night. “The government should not be telling us when we can party and when we can’t.”

Others, like Don Lopshire, were focused on how the closures would impact the economy.

“It’s going to kill a lot of the mom and pop businesses, a lot of the chains, people that actually have to work for a living,” Lopshire said. “They can’t pay rent, they can’t pay their bills, they can’t pay their lights, they can’t eat.”

Robert Shaber, the General Manager of Pub Fountains, said he plans to keep at least five employees on the schedule and will do what he can to bring in a little revenue for the family-owned business.

“We’re going to do to-go orders, our whole menu,” Shaber said. “Honestly, it’s not going to bring in that much income. It might bring in just enough for us to cover our rent. Rent here at this building is $25,000 a month.”

Fort Bend County’s order came one day after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo ordered similar guidelines.

The order is slated to last through April 1 and also applies to Fort Bend restaurants. Effective midnight, restaurants will only be permitted to offer drive-thru, delivery or curbside pickup options.