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Coronavirus COVID-19 Local News

County Judge to Decide Whether Comal Bars Can Reopen Oct. 14

Patrons crowd the Silly Rabbit Saloon on New Year's Eve 2019. When the bar reopens on Oct. 14 things will be a lot less crowded under new COVID-19 rules.

Comal County Judge Sherman Krause is evaluating whether to reopen area bars following an announcement by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today that bars can reopen with some restrictions on Oct. 14.

Krause is scheduling talks with local mayors, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and area law enforcement to consider carrying out and enforcing the governor’s order, the county said in a statement.

Under Abbott’s order, county judges make the call on whether to reopen bars.

Bars in counties that decide to reopen must operate at 50% occupancy and customers will be required to remain seated while eating or drinking at the bar. There is no outdoor-occupancy restriction.

Although Krause did not comment directly on Abbott’s decision, the county included part of his statement in its press release: “Texans have shown that we can contain the spread of by following health protocols and guidelines. Our state is prepared for these additional openings, but we all must remain vigilant and show personal responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

Tony Wells, owner of the popular Silly Rabbit Saloon, 15740 Cranes Mill Rd., Canyon Lake, which closed on June 26, said he hopes to reopen at noon on Oct. 14 so he can begin to recoup revenue lost over summer months when Abbott closed bars due to soaring rates of COVID-19.

“We’re just a beer bar, not a mixed-beverage or hard-liquor bar,” he said. “Nobody goes to a beer bar for to-go orders. We’re not a part of that thing.”

He said his Boomer clientele hunkered down at home after Abbott closed bars while younger patrons drove to the northside of Canyon Lake to find bars allowed to remain open with certain restrictions.

Lewis Dickson, owner of La Cruz de Comal Wines, Ltd., 7405 FM 2722, New Braunfels, said catching COVID-19 is a two-way street.

“I’m open to reopening cautiously and getting some more seating outside,” he said.

Any decision will be posted to his Facebook page or website, Dickson said.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said San Antonio bars will remain closed.


Texas State Sen. Donna Campbell, D-25, a physician, on Facebook today urged constituents to support bars when they reopen:

“If you have the means, please go out and support your local establishments on or after October 14th! Continue to wash your hands and stay safe out there! Doctor’s orders!”



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