HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that bars and breweries will finally be able to reopen Friday as part of the second phase of reopening Texas businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Reopening bars was a hotly debated issue with Texans and bar owners calling for the state to allow them to reopen. Earlier this month, some bar owners even took to protesting outside the Texas Capitol, demanding the right to reopen.
As a stop-gap measure, Abbott had previously allowed alcohol to-go orders when restaurants were first closed during the coronavirus pandemic. When he didn’t allow bars to reopen during the first phase of reopening, he said he might even allow the delivery and takeout options for alcohol to become a permanent thing.
Per the new order, bars, breweries and wine tasting rooms can reopen at 25% capacity beginning Friday. The capacity limits won’t apply to outdoor areas so long as people can maintain safe distancing.
Some Houston bars have decided to get the party started early Friday. In fact, the minute the clock struck midnight, they threw open their doors.
Here are some Houston bars that were planning plan on opening at midnight:
Kung Fu Saloon
The Washington Avenue bar announced their plan on Facebook with a two-word, exuberant statement: “We’re Back.”
The bar wrote in a Facebook post that staff has spent time “diligently cleaning and prepping” ahead of the reopening at midnight Friday. It will be open until 2 a.m.
Address: 5317 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
Whatever Sports Bar and Grill
The northwest Houston sports bar plans to reopen at midnight and stay open until 2 a.m. as well. On Facebook, the bar said it will be opening at 25% capacity but will not have any patio capacity.
Patrons are asked to follow social distancing guidelines as they come in to grab a cold one.
After closing at 2 a.m. Friday, the bar plans on reopening at 11 a.m. and will remain open through the day for patrons until 2 a.m. Saturday.
Address: 11902 Jones Road, Houston, TX 77070
Other bars around the area found ways to keep going through the pandemic with to-go food orders featuring some of Houston’s favorites like steak and crawfish.
Lincoln Bar, a sports bar with a patio on Washington Avenue, is open under recommended capacity until 2 a.m. The bar is also providing sanitization stations around the bar for staff and customers.
No more than 6 people are allowed per table, according to an Instagram post.
Address: 5110 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007
Belle Station Houston
Belle Station Houston is a bar and pub grub with a big patio. The establishment offers an extensive menu with options such as buffalo mac, southern egg rolls with honey chipotle BBQ and a veggie burger. On Facebook, the bar notes that it is open until 2 a.m. Friday and will again reopen at 9 p.m.
Address: 207 Gray St, Houston, TX 77002