FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Billy Bob’s Texas on Thursday reopened its doors with the focus on their restaurant. They’ve been serving food since the 80s but have always been considered a bar since their alcohol sales are greater than their food and beverage sales.
But with their new permit, their alcohol sales are compared to their total gross receipts instead. Those numbers show that Billy Bob’s typically generates about 35% of their total revenue from alcohol.
“Yeah, we’re really excited with our friends at TABC worked with us to help us get a new classification of our permit…which allows us to open as a restaurant,” Marty Travis, Billy Bob’s general manager, said.
Despite the change in calculations, you don’t have to order a meal to enjoy the venue. Marty says you can step inside for a drink, a dance or a concert.
“They can come in and a have a beer and watch the show…they don’t have to sit down to have a meal. It’s just the way we’re running our operations now that’s focused around the restaurant,” he said.
For now, only 1,200 people are allowed inside — compared to their 6,000 max capacity.
They also purchased a $20,000 thermal camera to track temperatures at the door. They’re also following social distancing guidelines and are offering hand sanitizing stations. Marty said it’s important they pull out all the stops when it comes to safety.
“The coronavirus is not in this building we feel, and so our job is to keep it out,” he said.
On Thursday, regulars were excited to get back inside. Glenn Knight came to get a meal the day they closed but was too late. He came back Thursday for a taste.
“Yeah, we have been here many times over the years. So we’re back over here today…the first day that they’re open back. Try it again!” Knight said.
He says it’s the most important thing he can do to support local businesses.
“Well, I’m doing my best. I can only eat three meals a day! I am just trying to support my local community as best as I can,” he said.
For now, they’re only open during the daytime except for weekend events — just to make sure that reopening goes smoothly.