Even though Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an order allowing bars and clubs to reopen their doors on May 22 at 25 percent capacity, many of the city’s LGBT-friendly bars are staying closed.
The bars along the Cedar Springs strip, including Station 4, Round-Up Saloon, Sue Ellen’s, TMC, and JR’s Bar and Grill, will stay shuttered and have not yet announced a timeline for reopening. “While we are eager to reopen our bars to the public, we remain committed to doing our part to help stop the further spread of COVID-19,” a post to JR’s Facebook page reads. “At this time, our bars will remain closed until it is best determined that we can provide the safest experience for all of our guests and staff.”
Also staying shut is beloved cocktail bar Alexandre’s. “We are coming back, don’t worry, but we are going to do this the right way,” owner Lee Daugherty said. “Stay safe, wash your hands, and wear your mask.” At the Dallas Eagle, owner Jeffrey Payne is waiting until June 1 to “reassess” whether or not the spread of coronavirus has slowed enough to reopen.
Off the strip, at least a few LGBT bars are planning to reopen this weekend. Maple Avenue go-go bar the Tin Room has announced that it will open on Friday, and it looks like its owners are already anticipating issues with maintaining social distancing inside the space. “We are already receiving threats from people about breaking rules lol and we are not even open yet,” the bar wrote on Facebook. “We will 100% do our best to follow guidelines. Everyone’s safety and health is our priority.”
According to the Dallas Voice, Fort Worth’s Urban Cowboy Saloon will open this weekend, but will only allow patrons entry if they make a reservation by messaging the bar on Facebook.
A ton of safety and social distancing guidelines await for bar owners that decide to reopen this weekend in addition to the 25 percent occupancy limit. Bars and clubs are only allowed to serve drinks to seated patrons, and dancing is “discouraged.” Parties cannot include more than six people, and bars are encouraged to “physically block off the bar and remove or block off bar stools” so that customers can’t sit or order from the bar.