FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The lifting of the the statewide mask mandate and all other COVID-19 restrictions, allows bars and restaurants to decide how many guests they will let inside.
For some in North Texas, that means some big changes.READ MORE: 'I'm Afraid We're Going To See A Surge Of Violence' Says Texas Criminologist Following Recent Mass Shootings
Wednesday at Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth, for the first time in a year masks will no longer be required for customers.
They won’t be moving up capacity just yet, but say they’ll never go back to 100%.
“We want to make sure we make everyone who walks in happy,” said Joe Lancaster, Owner of Joe T. Garcia’s. “We will never get back to 100%. I think it’s just going to best to keep it a little more spaced then what we had before, make it a little more comfortable.”
Lancarte says they will slowly add more tables but say keeping folks comfortable after the pandemic means adjusting to a new normal.
Though, staff will continue to mask for now.READ MORE: Texas Grand Jury To Consider Charges In Shooting Death Of Protester Garrett Foster Last Summer
“For customers, they’re optional. They are not forced to wear masks. We are not going to enforce that,” Lancarte said.
Just down the road at the worlds largest honky tonk, the same decision with a twist.
Customers aren’t required to wear masks, but neither are staff.
“We were kind of in a win lose situation whichever way we went regardless,” said Terran Flusche, of Billy Bobs. “At the end of the day, the guests have the choice on whether they want to wear one or not.”
They will be lifting capacity by a few hundred people bringing their total to 3000. That number is just half of what they can hold.
But for them, they say it’s only a matter of time before they get everyone back inside.MORE NEWS: As Pandemic Restrictions Ease, Child Abuse Reports Rise In North Texas
“With vaccines becoming more readily available we are hoping that people want to come out and gather and that we feel comfortable going back to 100% hopefully within the next few month,” Flusche said.