Owners, customers celebrate as Lubbock bars reopen

Lubbock bars reopening Friday

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas bars opened up for the first time a little over two months on Friday. Owners in Lubbock said they were prepared to keep everyone safe with the new guidelines and customers said they were eager to get back inside.

“It’s been great to get things back going,” said Mark Martinez, owner of The Garden in the Depot District. He says being out of business for the past two months has been rough, but he’ll comply with the Governor’s guidelines, including only letting 25 percent capacity inside.

He says he’s asking people to not loiter around the bar and he’s been disinfecting regularly.

“Adding hand sanitizer stations. We configured our seating arrangements so everyone is six feet away, knowing the flow of traffic to allow as people come in and out so that no one crosses each other.”

The only recommendation in bold on the three-page recommended protocols for bar owners involves social distancing. In brief, it asks owners to make sure different groups are six feet away from each other and even encourages dividers.

“We’re finally getting back to some sort of normal, but we want to do it responsibly so we’re going to go with guidelines for now and hopefully the restrictions will be let up.”

Donna Robertson, a customer at The Garden, says that she feels safe out and has been wearing a mask where she’s been asked to.

“It’s nice to relax a little bit and reap the benefits of social distancing.”

On Broadway, bar-goers enjoyed the first day back, and even though Madison Esperaza was out with friends, she says she’s not sure if bars should be open just yet.

“It’s a tough call there. I don’t know. It’s kind of ify. This bar, at least it’s kind of outside.”

“It’s weird because I know that they said no dancing and stuff it’s not going to be a like bar experience. It’s going to be more like hanging out.”

Lexi Bueno, a manager at Raider Bar and Grill says they’re taking every precaution and have studied the recommended protocols.

“We take temperature and ask how you’re doing. If you say “awesome”, we let you in.”

Bueno says she was concerned about crowd control and says she knew that she would probably be turning people away.

Copyright 2020 KCBD. All rights reserved.