ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Owners and customers of North Texas bars are protesting new business limitations. Gov. Greg Abbott forced bars to close again on Friday due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Protesters gathered Sunday outside Pearl’s Cherokee Lounge in Arlington. It’s one of several bars on W. Division Street that feel like they’re being unfairly targeted by the latest restrictions.
“We had no warning,” said Lisa Parker, manager of Pearl’s.
The bar had only been reopen for a few weeks at limited capacity.
Group of protesters outside Pearl’s Cherokee Lounge in Arlington, rallying support to “save our bars” two days after @GovAbbott shut down bars again.
— Caroline Vandergriff (@c_vandergriff) June 28, 2020
“We were working a skeleton crew,” Parker said. “Our customers were cut in half, our money was cut in half but we were happy that we had a job. So we were thrilled with that.”
Being forced to shut the doors again has a big impact.
It’s the same story at Cooter Brown’s in Burleson, where supporters held a similar protest.
“This is the livelihood of at least 10 people,” said owner Tara Worley. “That trickles down. That’s a lot.”
Bartenders and customers believe the governor’s latest executive order is arbitrary. Under the new restrictions, restaurants can stay open at 50% capacity.
“Just because they serve food, doesn’t mean they’re any closer or further apart than we are here,” Worley said.
The only other businesses shut down were rafting and tubing companies.
“Right now, Hurricane Harbor is open, Six Flags is open, stores are still open,” Parker said.
They hope the governor hears their message and makes a change.
Parker plans to protest outside Cherokee’s twice a week to rally support until bars reopen.