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Kirby Ice House opens new location near Memorial City amid coronavirus pandemic

HOUSTON – Kirby Ice House officially opened a new location near Memorial City Thursday night, but with some changes in light of the coronavirus pandemic still ravaging the Houston area.

Customers at the new Gessner Road location had to get their temperatures checked when they arrived.

“We’re not doing any kind of grand opening parties or anything like that. We’re kind of just letting it grow organically,” said Russ Morgan, development manager and one of the owners.

With the growing number of coronavirus cases in Texas, KPRC 2 asked Morgan about opening during a pandemic.

“We felt pretty comfortable opening in a safe way, with all the safety features, that it wouldn’t be too big of an issue,” said Morgan.

The bar includes outside and open patio space. Furniture was either removed or spaced out. Employees are wearing masks, and masks are also available for customers.

“I’m not concerned, but I’m aware of also what I should do in order to minimize the risk,” said customer Samer Massar.

The bar said it’s also counting the total number of customers, fully aware of the state’s threats to crack down on businesses that allow too many people inside.

But what happens if people are drinking and social distancing is the last thing on their mind?

“We’re doing all we can but there’s only so much I feel like you can do with this going around,” said Morgan.

He said employees need to let management know if they start to feel sick and would then have to get tested before being allowed to work.