TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth bar was one of more than 800 that opened illegally this weekend as part of a nationwide protest called “Freedom Fest.”
This isn’t the first time the Rail Club Live in Fort Worth has defied Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order either. The bar opened on July Fourth, too.
Abbott ordered bars to close for the second time during the pandemic in effort to slow a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state.
“Our businesses are doomed,” said co-owner Chris Polone. “Like I said before, we have nothing to lose. We can either fight this thing, Or we can starve ourselves out.”
Polone’s license was suspended earlier this month. But any repercussions, are worth it, according to him.
“I’m responsible for 15 employees’ ability to feed their children and that’s big, that’s a huge burden, and I don’t see any other way to do it than to do this,” he said.
Earlier in the month, he told CBS 11 News that his decision to open is not “to spit on everyone’s face or the government,” but because of a “double standard” he believes is in place due to restaurants and other businesses being allowed to stay open.
Rail Club Live doesn’t sell food.
Polone said he lost more than $15,000 the weekend after he had to close.
“Some of my competitors are allowed to stay open because they sell food,” he said during a Facebook Live. “Literally the only difference between us and them is you can’t order a burger with your beer at my bar.”
Agents with the Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission visited the Rail Club over the weekend and didn’t shut it down.