Amarillo community comes together to protest against bar closures

VIDEO: Amarillo community comes together to protest against bar closures

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - After Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order that shut down bars for the second time and limited restaurant capacity, Amarillo business owners have decided to take action.

In response to the initial shutdown, bar owners in Amarillo created the Amarillo Bar Owners Association. Their protest today is a result of that union among all bars.

Governor Abbott issued this second shutdown in response to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Texas, but many owners feel they are being targeted, because other places in Amarillo are allowed to stay open including restaurants, Wonderland Park, and even Hodgetown.

“Amarillo is not a hot spot. When we were a hot spot, we were not allowed to reopen with other bars. We were shamed. Everyone was allowed to reopen except Amarillo and Dumas.” said Lisa Kait, owner of Zombiez Bar and Grill. “Now we should be named for how good we are doing, because he was just here a month ago saying how good we were doing. He should have said everyone that is a hot spot needs to shut down, and if you’re not a hot spot, you can stay open. That is what he should have done and what he needs to do.”

About 200 people showed up, among them owners, bartenders, customers and friends. Most bar owners said they had stocked up on food and alcohol for the weekend to make up for the loss of being closed and were shocked to see they are now further in debt. Bartenders and employees have also been worried as they have been left unemployed for so long.

“I got a kid, a mortgage, and I was just starting to get back on my feet, getting our customers finally to start coming back, knowing that we are open. Then we get shut down with no notice, and now I’m worried about my mortgage again.” said Buckles Lounge Bartender Summer Seacress.

The City of Amarillo says they are adhering to Governor Abbott’s statewide order.

A lawsuit was also filed against the Governor yesterday by several bar owners across the state. The Governor’s office has not yet responded to our request for comment reagarding the situation.

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