HOUSTON – The Saint Arnold Beer Garden and Restaurant reopened for dine-in services after being forced to shut down due to Gov. Greg Abbott’s order.
According to the order, all bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages were required to close due to COVID-19.
“About three weeks ago, the TABC contacted us and informed us that they changed the way they were calculating the 51 percent to determine if we were a restaurant or bar. We had to include all the beer that we shipped to distributors in our calculation,” said founder Brock Wagner.
The brewery was forced to shut down with no timetable for when they might be able to reopen. Wagner said he feared the worst.
“If we were going to have to shut it down for months, which is what I was concerned with, we were probably going to have to lay off about 75 people,” he said.
The brewery was still doing curbside but lost about 20 to 25 percent of total sales when they were forced to close down. Wagner said that is when thousands of customers and supporters got involved and brought attention to the issue.
Late Friday night, the brewery was informed they could reopen after the state adjusted the language in the order.
Wager said he knows they were fortunate and is doing everything he can to make sure the brewery a safe place for everyone who visits.
“Safety is paramount to us,” Wagner said. “We removed a bunch of the tables. We are only seating people outside. Our indoor portion is closed. We’re wiping down the tables.”