Hundreds of Texas bar owners promise to defy governor’s shutdown order

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A sign on the door to the West Alabama Icehouse reads “Closed by the Governor,” Monday, June 29, 2020, in Houston.

David J. Phillip / The Associated Press

Hundreds of Texas bar owners say they will defy Gov. Greg Abbott’s tenure who ordered them to close after an increase in coronavirus cases.

Fort Worth bar owner Chris Polone hosted what’s called “Freedom Fest,” in which hundreds of bar owners say they will open their doors and install them on Saturday. About 800 bar owners have pledged to participate, Polone told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which could put their state liquor licenses at risk.

The Republican governor had authorized the bars to reopen with restrictions, only to order their closure on June 26 after the state experienced a resurgence of the outbreak of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Bars must adhere to security measures which include taking customers’ temperatures before entering, maintaining social distancing, requiring face coverings and the availability of hand sanitizer, Polone said. . He said he planned to use a germicide approved by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mist his place.

Participants will charge a cover fee of $ 10, the proceeds of which will go to a charity chosen by the bar owner, Polone said.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is aware of the event and will conduct inspections, commission spokesman Chris Porter said. Violators of the order could face a 30-day suspension of their liquor license.

The commission has already suspended Polone’s license, The Rail Club Live, after a July 4 protest against the governor’s order, which he called the Rail Club Tea Party. A hearing on this suspension is scheduled for Monday.

Other places may choose to serve alcoholic beverages, but Polone said his place would not.

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