Pier 30 owner TJ Jopplin had one thing to say when Gov. Greg Abbott announced he would be able to reopen his bar.
“Thank God,” Jopplin said.
Business has slowed quite a bit during the pandemic since Pier 30, near Surfside Beach, has not been able to offer dine-in services, waitress Kaede Merchant said.
“I’m just really excited to get back to work,” she said.
Bars will be allowed to open at 25 percent capacity Friday, Abbott announced during a new conference Monday in Austin. Abbott’s further easing of restrictions also allows restaurants to expand to 50 percent capacity from the current 25 percent allowance.
Lake Jackson restaurant owner Richard Wood looks forward to opening up his downtown restaurants, Wurst Haus and Growlers, to allow more people.
“Growlers at 25 percent capacity allows about 14 people there, and at 50 percent, it allows a lot more business in there,” Wood said. “But Growlers has been open and it’s been slow, so I’m sure people are staying closer to home.”
What he really looks forward to, Wood said, is potential diners feeling comfortable enough to sit down inside.
“We opened back up whenever they opened restaurants … and all we need is more consumer confidence,” Wood said. “In a place like Wurst Haus, for example, 25 percent capacity isn’t very much an issue since we have a lot of space inside and outside, but we don’t have lines and we’d like to have more people coming out.”
Each week has been getting better, he said, though he’s currently making a lot of sales through to-go orders.
Rick Clark, operating manager of Rickochet’s and Brody’s, both in Lake Jackson, is looking forward to welcoming people back inside — and so is his staff.
“They’ve been very patient and actually more than patient,” he said. “We’re looking forward to opening and having commerce.”
Both establishments have been closed for six weeks, and while he’s continued to pay his employees, it’s been rough and they’re ready to get back to work, he said. They’ve been hearing the customers are ready for them to open back up, too, Clark said.
“We thought we might get to open today, and I think they were looking forward to that as well,” he said, referring to the clientele.
“Friday will be fine,” he said. “I think that if we could’ve gotten open in the early part of the week instead of the weekend the transition might have been a little easier. That way people could’ve come in in the slower part of the week instead of the weekend crowd hitting all at one time, but we’ll be fine.”
Ten Pin Entertainment, a bowling alley and family entertainment center in Angleton, is excited to “finally” reopen Friday, according to an online statement.
“Remember, 25 percent capacity is not a lot, but it is better than zero,” the statement said. “So we will do our best to make things as available as possible.”
Open bowling will be available at noon Friday and leagues can resume Monday, according to the statement.
“Our employees will continue to clean the areas frequently, monitor the amount of people in the building to stay at or below capacity allowed, and we will do all that is required, following CDC and WHO guidelines,” the statement said.