BRYAN, Texas — After the first shutdown earlier this summer, bars in Texas are allowed to open up again October 14th.
Even though bars can open at 50% capacity again, there are still rules and limitations in place. Two bars on Northgate are waiting on reopening while they adjust to these protocols.
"We're currently open as a restaurant right now. When we're going to open as a bar, no one knows, but hopefully soon," said Social Lounge general manager Nolan Townsend.
With bars shut down during the pandemic, some have applied for licenses to serve food.
"We had planned to open this week, but due to the fact that you can't serve alcohol after 11, you have to have food to do that because food will make it disappear if you didn't know. We plan on opening in the upcoming weeks. We're just finishing up final touches and adjustments," said Hookah Lounge Sean Alzahed.
Social and Hookah Lounge on Northgate are both waiting to open up as a bar due to the 50% capacity and being understaffed.
"When we closed, I had a staff of 18 and now I have a staff of 6, so we're rehiring and we're getting applications in, so I encourage people can just DM the Facebook page and then we can get them in for an interview," said Alzahed.
Staying closed for the last couple months has hit these bars hard.
"We're operating at 50% or less. Obviously that cuts our revenue. In addition to that, we've had to hire more employees and stack more employees to make sure that people are sitting down and have their mask on if they're moving and also, keeping people socially distanced in lines outside our establishment so keeping the mask on there too. Keeping to the rules that didn't exist prior to this COVID-19...is what is necessary right now. So it's added a challenge," said Townsend.
As these bars continue to navigate through new social distancing protocols, they hope to be back in business real soon.
"[I'm] getting ready to see everybody again. I've been a manager on Northgate for nine years now so it'll be fun to see everybody. I haven't seen any of these people for so long," said Alzahed.
While there is a 50% capacity inside the bars, there is no limit to outdoor areas at this time.