Two groups — the Texas Restaurant Association and the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance — recently gave Gov. Greg Abbott ideas on how the two groups would propose reopening of bars.

The restaurant association’s plan, called the Texas Bar Promise, offers guidelines on how bars can open while ensuring the safety of customers and employees.

Among the key recommendations of the association’s plan are:

• Bars would create physically designated “individual party areas” within an establishment to maintain social distancing.

• Groups would be limited to six people and a group would have to keep 6 feet away from any other group.

• A designated employee would enforce the rules during each shift.

• Bars would make hand-sanitizing stations available.

• Menus would be disposable or digital.

• Employees would receive health screenings before every shift.

• Garnishes, glassware and other items typically available at a bar top would not be accessible to customers.

The nightclub alliance’s 10-point plan is similar to the restaurant association’s recommendations and includes:

• Using plastic cups and paper plates.

• Cleaning and disinfecting common areas and surfaces regularly, as well as cleaning and disinfecting each party’s area after every use.

• Posting signs at the establishment reminding customers of best hygiene and required social distancing practices.

Texas bars have lost about 75,000 jobs and $630 million in revenue because of the shutdowns. It has also cost the state about $40 million in liquor tax revenue, said Kelsey Erickson Streufert, the Texas Restaurant Association’s vice president of government affairs and advocacy.

Bar owners had hoped to get Abbott’s go-ahead to reopen Friday. That doesn’t appear likely. Instead the alliance is encouraging a soft reopening Friday for employees only and not the general public.

Abbott has not offered his thoughts on the two groups’ proposals. But when he announced two weeks ago that restaurants and hair salons could reopen, he said he hoped to have bars reopened by mid-May.

Earlier this week, Abbott told the CBS affiliate in Dallas, “All we’re working on is solutions that will be somewhat similar to restaurants to provide bars an opportunity to open up.”

Granted, the argument is that it will be up to each establishment to police itself. But that is true for salons, restaurants and all other businesses.

Still, we think the two groups’ proposals make sense, and Abbott should consider allowing employees of bars to go back to work.

• Dave Mathews

Dave Mathews: 409-683-5258; dave.mathews@galvnews.com

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(15) comments

Stuart Crouch

Nah, Governor Big Wheels won't go for that. Why?....simple, because of the dancing. The Gov' doesn't dance. Not because of the chair; it's because he's a Baptist. [ban]

Carlos Ponce

Again, poking fun at a wheel chaired paraplegic!

Jim Forsythe

Governor Abbott is a Roman Catholic.

Don Schlessinger

[ban][ban]

Randy Chapman

This will never work as advertised. Add alcohol to anything and it gets fubared.

Raymond Lewis

FUBARED. Well, that's a new one on me. Had to look it up. Will be added to my lexicon. Thanks Mr. Chapman.

Carlos Ponce

The term is used throughout the movie "Saving Private Ryan".

Randy Chapman

The term was around well before that movie.

Ray Taft

The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) appointed Austin-Democrat Kelsey Erickson Streufert to her position on May 21, 2020.

Streufert has a record of using procedural rules to slow or block legislation in order to amend legislation to Democrats’ liking.

On May 7, 2020, the TRA appointed Chicagoan Joe Monastero to Chief Strategy and Operations Officer. He previously oversaw a key strategic relationship with China Ready & Accredited, a public-private partnership with the Chinese National Tourism Administration.

Why these very recent TRA appointments? Is this bit of news about the TRA giving Gov. Abbott ideas on how to reopen bars in TDN’s editorial only more Democrat sculduggery?

Since when do Democrats want businesses to open. China purposely released the COVID-19 plague on the world to equalize the economic playing field, since their economy was in trouble because of their Wuhan virus. Democrats want our economy to remain closed, and even fail, for their own political gain.

Is this really about opening up bars or Democrats closing down all other businesses to be fair to bars if Gov. Abbott doesn’t do exactly what the TRA wants?

Ray Taft

The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) appointed Austin-Democrat Kelsey Erickson Streufert to her position on May 11, 2020.

Gary Scoggin

Glad you found a way to demonize Democrats on this, Ray. It’s a stretch but no stretch is too far for you.

Jim Forsythe

Ray, only one person has they say so as when bars open in Texas. When Governor Abbott thinks the time is right, he will give the OK to open them up, with guidelines that must be followed.

May 12, 2020: The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) has released a proposal it hopes will persuade Gov. Greg Abbott to allow bars across the state to reopen as soon as Friday. TRA officials said they felt it was the right time to reopen the state’s 5,500 bars, which have been closed 53 days.

The Texas Bar Promise is similar to a set of safety proposals that the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance (TBNA) submitted in April as it pushed the governor to allow bars to open in phase one of reopening the state.

“I think the fact that the governor hadn’t reopened bars yet, despite that proposal being submitted, told us that they didn’t quite match what the governor was after – that he wasn’t comfortable that those were the right steps,” said Streufert.

Ray, how many business owners are Republicain, and how many are Democrats? No one that I know, wants businesses to remain closed any longer than necessary.

Which business do Democrats want to fail? The person in Texas that has the authority to open a business-sector is Governor Abbott.

Ray, are you saying the Governor does not want businesses to open?

Ray Taft

Democrats won't be happy until businesses are destroyed and the only operating entity is government, to whom everyone must be beholden for sustenance. Then Democrats will have the power they crave. These are heady times for Democrats.

Dan Freeman

Ok, Boomer how many of these come back to mind:

Army chicken, army strawberries, AWOL, ash can, battery acid, beat your gums, bedpan commando, behavior report, big wheel, "Blow it out your barracks bag," Bog-pocket, boudoir commando, browned off, BTO, bubble dancing, cab happy, carrier pigeon, chow hound, corn plaster commando, devil's piano, dit happy, dodo, dog food, duck soup, eagle day, French leave, FUBAR, gremlins, gubbins, eggs, fish, flak, fruit salad, JANFU, jawbreakers, juice jerker, kite, landing gear, Mae West, Maggie's drawers, Mickie Mouse movies, mitt flopper, ninety day wonder, OAO, penguin, pineapple, prune, "Roll up your flaps," sandpaper the anchor, shingle as in SOS, "See the Chaplain," S for the birds, skin, snap your cap, taxi up, tiger meat, T.S., T.S. slip, tin pickle, walkie talkie, Wilco, zombie, and out.

Ted Gillis

Patrick is the Baptist, Stuart.

And a former bar owner.

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