HOUSTON, Texas -- Houston's bars are allowed to resume service beginning today as part of Gov. Greg Abbott's "phase 2" to reopen the Texas economy, but the experience of drinking at a bar will be very different than it was pre-COVID-19.
Consider a typical bar experience in which a person walks in, sits at the bar, looks over a menu, uses cash to buy a beverage and tip, and strikes up a conversation with a stranger sitting next to them. Under the state's published health protocols for bar operations, a person could walk in and read a menu (provided its disposable), but the rest is not permitted.
To maintain social distancing, bars have been instructed to remove bar stools and seat all customers at tables of six or fewer people. To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the protocols stipulate that, "individuals should, to the extent possible, minimize in-person contact with others not in the individual's household."
As for that bumping soundtrack that creates a mood to linger over another drink or two, it better not inspire anyone to move around too much. "Activities that enable close human contact, including but not limited to dancing, are discouraged," the document states.
For the full list, including Houston favorites like Electric Feel Good and Kirby Ice House, visit our partners at Houston CultureMap.
These Houston bars will welcome customers for the phase 2 reopening