FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – At least one North Texas bar is standing its ground and will be opening on July 4 for an event despite the governor’s shutdown order.
Chris Polone, owner of the Rail Club Live in Fort Worth, said his decision to open is not “to spit on everyone’s face or the government,” but because of a “double standard” he believes is in place due to restaurants and other businesses being allowed to stay open. He said he doesn’t sell food at his bar.
“Some of my competitors are allowed to stay open because they sell food,” he said during a Facebook Live. “… Literally the only difference between us and them is you can’t order a burger with your beer at my bar.”
Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars to close for the second time during the pandemic in effort to slow a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state. Restaurants can stay open at a 50% limited capacity.
Polone said he lost over $15,000 last weekend after he had to close. He decided to open his bar once again for a July 4 event Saturday evening
“I’m responsible for 15 employees’ ability to feed their children and that’s big, that’s a huge burden, and I don’t see any other way to do it than to do this,” Polone said.
He said he is ready for the consequences of breaking the order.
“I would like to encourage everybody to put their foot down because if we all do it we’re all good, but I can already see how this is going to go, we’re going to be the guinea pig here and that’s okay, that’s okay,” Polone said.
The Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission said it will have agents out throughout the state this weekend to enforce the governor’s order. Any bar caught breaking the order could have its alcohol license suspended.