Restaurant owners react to phase 2 of re-opening Texas

Restaurant owners react to phase 2 of re-opening Texas
Traditions in Tyler says they're at an advantage because they have a dining room big enough to allow for social distancing. (Source: KLTV)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In his announcement on Monday, Governor Greg Abbott said as of Friday, May 22, restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity and bars will be able to open.

“We’re excited that we’re going to 50 percent,” said Robert Owens.

He owns Traditions, in Tyler and said his restaurant will be able to accept more customers, but he’s worried smaller ones won’t be able to.

“We have a large dining room, so we’ve already spaced all our furniture for 25 percent and we can go a little bit further, but we only have so much space and be 6 feet apart,” said Owens. “Even though we’re going to 50 percent capacity, the distance is going to affect a lot of people that don’t have large dining rooms like we do.”

Owens said he’s looking forward to more customers coming because business has still been slow.

“People are still somewhat leery, and I think it might not be just the safety concern, but where is the money going to come from in a month or two months from now,” said Owens. “I think people are going to be more relaxed with the feeling we can go to 50 percent.”

Bars can officially open on Friday, at 25 percent capacity.

One of the owners of ETX Brewing hopes this clears up confusion for businesses that have both bar and restaurant aspects.

“There’s definitely been some people with some confusion on it, so hopefully this will clarify it for everyone, knowing we’re getting closer to back to normal,” said Annie Gilstrap, the co-owner of ETX Brewing. “Everybody will still be spread out a little more than we’re used to but at least we can have more patrons in at a time, so whatever we can get well take it right now.”

Governor Abbott said that the closed businesses can open or already open ones can go to 50 percent capacity as long as they maintain social distancing guidelines and follow cleaning procedures.

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