LORENA, TX — Texas bars reopen Wednesday thanks to an order from the governor and approval by county judges across the state. A well-known Lorena bar barely hung on throughout the pandemic and now has something to celebrate.
"It's full of Texas lore. You know you can come in here and be brought back to a place of simple times," explained Lisa Tambling, owner of Papa Joe's.
Tambling spent all day Tuesday getting ready to finally re-open Papa Joe's in Lorena. She thought the Texas bar closures might just become permanent until she got a call from a reporter.
"There is a reporter from Channel 25 News, he broke the news to us. Thank you very much, sir," she said. "What did I think when I heard it? So elated. It's time to get Papa Joe's back open and all the bars around Texas. This has been just devastating for everybody."
Who got hurt the most? The real question is, who didn't?
"It's not just the bar owners but the waitresses, all the musicians. It just has a trickle down effect and has affected everybody, " said Tambling.
Papa Joe's has played host to big names like Tony Calhoun, Kayla Raye, The Kelly Girls, Holly Tucker and more. It's where Billy Joe Shaver shot a guy in the face after some say the man made a comment about Shaver's ex-wife.
Customers say they can't wait to get back.
"Oh no, no, no. I can't wait till it opens up. I'm ready. I've been ready," said Virginia Rangel.
Papa Joe's expects a bit of a crowd Wednesday night for its grand reopening. Why? Well, it's darts night.
Remember capacity is limited to 50% capacity, and masks are mandatory.
Tambling says she'll take gearing up one step at a time, but she wants employees back first, then maybe hire a cook for the kitchen.
"It'll be slow, but we want our waitresses to get their fair share. We want to hopefully get some musicians back in here and get them back to work. It will be slow, but eventually. I have faith. You have to have faith." she said.
Faith that like the great state itself, this little taste of Texas will come back better than ever.