WACO, TX — Last month Governor Abbott shut down bars in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. But on Friday, the Backyard Bar & Grill in Waco found a way to reopen.
"It was tough... Being shut down almost three months now affects employees, affects owners, affects vendors, affects artists," said Backyard owner Chris Cox.
Friday night the show was back on at the Backyard, and it's perfectly legal with a catch.
"You will not be able to come in and sit at a table and drink alcohol without ordering food," said Cox.
The venue was able to get a license that allows them to reopen in order to recalculate the bar's food to alcohol sales.
"Make it a restaurant, change the whole persona of just a bar where you can come and drink and party. We have to change it just a little bit," said Cox.
Owners are pushing patrons to order as much food as they can. If at any point in the next 90 days they’re audited and alcohol sales are above 51%, it’s closing time.
"This is a team effort, and I hope everybody follows the guidelines so that we don't all end up shut down again," said the owner.
As far as safety, patrons will be required to wear masks until they're seated. They must then stay in their seats as servers deliver drinks and of course food.
All tables are spread out for social distancing, and people violating any of the rules get one warning before they're asked to leave.
"I'm willing to do whatever, wear a mask, order food in order to try and have a good time again. You obviously don't want to come out bad enough if you're not willing to cooperate so wear a mask, it's not that hard, order food, order drinks, have a good time. It's as simple as that," said Backyard patron Hannah Jackson.