Bar owners face uncertain future with rollback in reopenings

NEW CANEY, Texas – Since last spring, Texas bar owners have been on a financial roller coaster. Many forced to open and close several times as the pandemic flared.

In Montgomery County, Sandra Young says the doors of her place, Bokeeter’s Cocktail Bar in New Caney, will remain open in spite of any closure order. She frames it as a matter of principle.

“I would encourage every single small business owner to open and defy completely unconstitutional government mandates,” Young said.

She’s had a long-running dispute with state regulators ever since she was first ordered to close last spring.

Young’s business actually shouldn’t be open right now. She was recently given a 90-day suspension by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for allowing customers to go without face masks.

But she believes COVID-19 is a phony issue.

“My business is not going to be put out of business by I’m not even sure what. Do we really know? Young asks.“Do were really have 300,000 deaths from covid? I don’t believe it. I don’t know what to believe.

But Young is convinced she has a right to remain open regardless of what the governor says.

“I’m an adult and I’m making a decision base on what I feel is best for my establishment and my employees,” she said.

A little farther west in Spring, Keith Sullen said he’ll comply, but said his business won’t survive it.

He has been forced to open and close The Good Fortune Club twice since last spring. The business has been open since October, but he’s still struggling to make up his losses -- $40,000. And now he says another shutdown would be his last.

“I’m going to have to go rob a bank. You want to be the driver?” Sullen joked when asked what he’ll do. ”It’s that bad. We’re going to have to go out of business.”