Amarillo bar finds a way to re-open amid virus restrictions

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 6:40 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - It has been 34 days since bars were ordered to shut down, but Zombiez Bar and Grill has found a way to reopen.

The answer: food.

Like many bar owners in Amarillo and across the state, the owner of Zombiez Bar and Grill, Leisa Kite, has been trying to think of a way to continue working while calling the City and TABC for updates.

During today’s City of Amarillo press conference, City Manager, Jared Miller addresses the calls he’s been receiving from bars owners.

“We don’t have any indication from the governor as to when that will change or when the capacity will change,” said Miller. “I have had a number of calls from bar owners asking when that will change, and I want to make sure people understand, we have no indication as to when that might be.”

Knowing that there was no end in sight for bars to reopen, Kite applied for a food and beverage license in order to operate as a restaurant. This meant her projected non-alcohol sales had to be higher.

“I believe your non-alcohol sales can include food and clothing. I came out with my own line of ice cream to keep my sales up, and I’ve extended my grill hours until 1:00 a.m. when my bar closes,” said Kite.

She has also started selling merchandise and is planning to start offering breakfast in order to keep her non-alcohol sales up.

“I want to make sure to stay in this category so that I don’t have to ever go through this again,” said Kite

Kite says the TABC is expediting the licenses. She was able to get hers in six days as compared to the normal time of 20 to 30 days.

She hopes other bar owners are able to do the same and make up for some of the money they’ve lost during the forced closures.

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