Texas Bar Opens to Hold 'Fight Back' Rally After State Coronavirus Closures

A bar in Texas defined orders to close amid the spread of COVID-19 in the state and held a rally demanding businesses reopen.

The Chuters Dance Hall and Saloon in Pasadena continued to serve customers as well as other bar owners as part of their "Texas Bars Fight Back" rally on Sunday, which also included live music.

The owners opened their doors despite being ordered to shut down by Governor Greg Abbott on June 26.

All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages were told to close at 12:00 p.m. on June 26 as the state deals with a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Restaurants could remain open for dine-in service, but only at 50 percent capacity.

Speaking to Newsweek, co-owner of Chuters, Helen Bergeron, confirmed that they had been contacted by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for opening their doors on Sunday.

"We just want to exercise our right to earn a living. There is no data to prove that any COVID-19 came from a bar or nightclub so until that can be proven we should be allowed to open," Bergeron added.

"We have a right to make a living and our employees have a right to feed their families."

It is unclear if Chutes' owners will now face a fine or other disciplinary measures.

Discussing the law which means that restaurants can remain open, Bergeron told KTRK. "We just want to go to work. It's not fair that at a restaurant right behind us, I can go sit at their bar and get hammered on margaritas, but I can't come to my club and drink a beer because it's a bar."

Abbott blamed people congregating in bars for the rise in COVID-19 cases while confirming the Executive Order that forced their closure.

"As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10 percent, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," said Abbott.

"At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.

"The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health. We want this to be as limited in duration as possible.

"However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part.

"Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can."

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(From left) James Kopeck, Helen Bergeron, Chris Bergeron are all co-owners of the Chuters Dance Hall and Saloon in Pasadena, Texas. Supplied