Protest Over San Angelo Bar Closings Planned for Saturday


SAN ANGELO, TX — “My fellow friends and bar owners. Stango's is not required to close, I am, however very concerned about the bar owners being able to pay their bills and feed their families,” stated Steve Stango in a post on Stango’s Coffee Shop Facebook page.

During the celebration of the re-opening of downtown San Angelo, Stango said when the orders came down to close March 19, he was more than just a little wary of COVID-19.

“It actually kinda freaked me out,” he said then. “I wanted to stay away from everyone.”

Stango said he was in that age bracket where catching the coronavirus and coming down with COVID-19 could have been a life or death situation.

He no longer is worried about his personal safety or the coronavirus.

This week, we had reports of 20-30 new COVID-19 cases per day, the cumulative case count is at 311. Of those, 140 are reported as “active” as of Friday afternoon. Friday, 5,707 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the state, the second highest daily addition since the pandemic began. The highest was 5,996 new cases reported yesterday.

Yet, 311 cases out of 118,000 people in Tom Green County is only 0.26 percent. Two people in the region have died, and out the aggregate number of cases since March is, of the total reported infections, a 0.64% death rate. In the San Angelo region, 11 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

“If they ask me again to shut down again, I’m not doing it,” Stango said. He runs a popular and independent coffee shop in downtown San Angelo. In addition to his coffee menu, his pizza menu is trendy.

Stango’s is surrounded by the signature San Angelo bars located downtown. The owners are his colleagues and friends. He doesn’t want to see any of them further harmed.

“Wow, I do not know about you but I am pissed. Why are people who are getting paid telling us that you (bar owners) can no longer get paid, and if you resist you will pay the price!” he wrote. "Well, I think its time to tell them "No More", we will not take this any longer!!! The State & TABC needs to pay the bar owners their cost of doing business or leave them alone.”

Closing bars and lowering the maximum capacity for dining areas of restaurants was ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott. All bars must close for the second time this year Friday at noon. Restaurants must reduce capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent beginning Monday, June 29.

What prompted this, Abbott said, was the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 exceeded 10 percent of tests administered.

Abbott told several television stations in separate interviews that he regretted allowing bars to re-open. He told El Paso’s KVIA that people “go to bars to get close and to drink and to socialize, and that's the kind of thing that stokes the spread of the coronavirus,” the Texas Tribune reported.

Outdoor gatherings of over 100 people are also prohibited. Stango stated his protest starts at high noon Saturday on Chadbourne Street between Irving and Concho Avenues. How many will show up and how the county and city authorities will react is not known.

Friday in Abilene, the city manager there gaffed and said that the Abilene was not enforcing the governor’s latest executive order to close down bars again. What Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna meant to say was the TABC was the primary enforcement arm to make sure Abilene’s bars were closed, not the Abilene police.

The gaffe happened amid a public declaration from Whiskey Girl, a bar in Abilene, where the owner said he was not abiding by Abbott’s orders. “We will be open at 4! Just like before our heart is not to be disrespectful but we have to look out for our team and our business! Unless someone else is offering to pay our bills. #GovAbbottForSugarDaddy,” the bar posted on Facebook.

During the previous shutdown of bars in April, San Angelo bars considered organizing to re-open together in an act of civil disobedience. Long-standing successful bar owners were reluctant to join the protest arguing they had more to lose that the most recent startup bar owner.

Gov. Abbott ordered the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to enforce the bar closures. A violation would mean a 30-day suspension of that bar’s liquor license. A second suspension was punishable by a 60-day suspension. At this point, many bar owners are wondering what is worse? Shutting down for an indefinite amount of time or risking a license suspension?

Subscribe to the LIVE! Daily

The LIVE! Daily is the "newspaper to your email" for San Angelo. Each content-packed edition has weather, the popular Top of the Email opinion and rumor mill column, news around the state of Texas, news around west Texas, the latest news stories from San Angelo LIVE!, events, and the most recent obituaries. The bottom of the email contains the most recent rants and comments. The LIVE! daily is emailed 5 days per week. On Sundays, subscribers receive the West Texas Real Estate LIVE! email.


Most Recent Original Videos



Play by the rules and make everybody wear masks. I don't care if it treads on your rights. Not wearing a mask treads on MY rights.

I wish your protest well. America was built on protests. The focus should not be where we are now, which is on an upward trend. It should be where we will be in 3 weeks of unfettered infections. Those percentages would more than likely change.

I did not realize that San Angeloans like to drink liquor so much that they're willing to get sick and/or make others sick. It's hard to drink with a mask, and a mask is required especially if you can't stay six feet away from someone, and that rule only applies for 15 minutes.

At this particular moment in history, the greater good of public health is more important than going to a bar to drink. Get your drink to go and then drive home safely and drink it. Politicizing this issue is a huge distraction from staying healthy.

... and previously I read that Governor Abbott said on a Facebook posting that, he thought it would be a good idea to make alcohol and alcoholic drinks legal in Texas for delivery. If that was a good possibility that that idea was feasible during the duration of the pandemic, wouldn't that keep the bars open and generate enough revenue to keep bars afloat for the time being? Just a thought that may be a compromise so no bar owner goes broke or loses their liquor license. Also, who knows... would it be better to come to a compromise and suggest to Govenor Abbott to allow bars to operate a Delivery service and deliver alcohol to people's homes... or be shut down for 30 days with no revenue coming in at all. I don't know, I don't own a business of any kind. I only have a High school diploma to my credit as far as an education, but I do agree that these bar owners are in the business to support their families and I do agree that Governor Abbott and the State government needs to compensate these businesses for the loss of revenue because people are not willing to do the simple things asked of them to help stop the spread of the virus. Also... to people that frequent bars ... nobody is saying you can't drink beer and alcohol and mixed drinks... you just are discouraged to do that at a bar for a short time. Personally, I don't frequent bars... if I want beer or alcohol... I get some beer from the store or alcohol at a liquor store... I'm just trying to help with a few suggestions that could be a compromise to both parties... the state government AND the owners of bars that need money to pay their employees and money to support their families.... otherwise... I would just not make any suggestions and let whatever happens... happen and not give a crap... LOL! Best of luck to the bar owners... I hope this protest helps and all the luck to ya'll!

That people can't be bothered to do what's right for the good of all. Can't drink ar home, gotta be a barfly. The only ones truly hurting are the business owners and I feel for them. Maybe if our governor had a pair he would have done what's right rather than bend to appease a false narrative and we would be on the downside of this thing rather than still climbing. Maybe if some people had taken this thing seriously and acted like responsible adult citizens instead of spoiled whiners and practiced safe protocols we would be going down instead of up. But hell, that's too much of an inconvenience right? We'd rather endanger the elderly, the immunocompromised, infants, because that mask was ever so hot.... it hurt. Grow up. Pull your heads out of your backside and do what's right. If you really want to help the businesses affected, order take out as much as you pretend to need to go out. And yes, that includes bars. Outside alcohol and home delivery is actually legal right now. Find a solution. But whining about doing the right thing solves nothing. Find a real reason to rally, like finding ways to keep these businesses from folding. But crying that you can't get drunk together while exposing everyone to potential serious health issues including death is not only childish, it's idiotic. Rally to raise money for them. If you had worn the damn mask in the first place we'd still be able to go have a beer.

So much for the claims in the beginning that said the coming hot weather would kill this virus so things could get back to normal....

j j, Sat, 06/27/2020 - 06:44

I am proud of the comments so far. I too believe we should support our officials and look out for others. As far as the business owners, I have run businesses for 20 plus years. I understand you are there to make money, it's hard to do when you are your clients are not healthy. I would suggest the bars try the zoom setups for the patrons to talk and a drink delivery/food system for the time being. Yes, this would require higher prices but it might keep business going.

CGM5, Sat, 06/27/2020 - 07:54

I wonder if Stango will still have the same cavalier attitude if in the future he finds his bravado has cost him his life or the life of one of his family members or someone else he loves.
The same could be asked of the people that crowd into a bar. Famous last words ... I never thought it would actually happen or I didn't believe it would happen to me or I didn't think I could have given this virus to my parents or I can't believe they died because of me or any number of stupid remarks made after a stupid decision.

Cases are on the rise because asymptomatic people are flocking to get tested. The difference today between COVID19 and other diseases (i.e. measles, mumps, malaria, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, HIV AIDS, influenza, etc.) is that with those other diseases those patients have actually been sick when they were given a diagnosis of a “case”. And when that “case” was diagnosed the sick were quarantined, not the otherwise healthy. How “case” is defined is ultimately the key issue here. The “case” count is driving the panic, the hysteria. And, that panic is not necessary, its not justified, but its INTENDED. We never did this mass testing with influenza, or H1N1, despite the fact that we had tens of thousands of people succumb to that, including many more young people than have ever succumb to COVID19. We are still trying to figure out how to interpret these tests, amidst their rampant inaccuracy. The point here is to highlight that the definition of a “case” of COVID19 is radically different than the definition of a “case” previously dealt with by any physician. Why is that? Well, on Sunday, April 5, 2020, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Executive Board unanimously approved the interim position statement entitled “Standardized surveillance case definition and national notification for 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19”, and it includes standardized criteria for case identification and classification for COVID-19, including asymptomatic infections. In the first page of the document it states that “CSTE realizes that field investigations will involve evaluations of persons with no symptoms and these individuals will need to be counted as cases.” Why? Because back in April there was this incredible fear that every man, woman and child was potentially able of infecting every other man, woman, and child and leading to their premature demise because they have COVID19 in their respiratory tracks. To be clear, it is virtually impossible for an asymptomatic individual who has not been exposed in the previous couple of days to a sick individual, even if they are pre-symptomatic, to transmit this virus to anyone else. The new definition allows for a “case” to be claimed even if a person has never been sick when all they have is laboratory evidence of immunity. Worse yet, where it outlines the criteria for case ascertainment, for its clinical criteria for reporting “In outpatient or telehealth settings at least two of the following symptoms: fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new olfactory and taste disorder(s) OR at least one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing - along with epidemiological linkage evidence, which simply could be that someone potentially had close contact with anyone that has clinically compatible symptoms (i.e. risk cohort, etc.). This is a boondoggle for those that would have us believe that the “case” numbers of sick, infected people are going up. This explains why the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed that the state is categorizing every inpatient in the state with positive COVID19 test as a COVID19 hospitalization even if the patients themselves are admitted seeking treatment for something other than the coronavirus. These policies are serving to artificially inflate what seems like a surge. Don’t be a sheep.

All those folks who couldn’t stand up for black people and made fun of their protests, and claimed they were “spreading corona” now have a cause to protest about. This is privilege. Cry me a river, you can’t drink and drive home and kill more people. Dear cops, we need you patrolling bar parking lots. I’m tired of defending my life against drunk drivers. Bars are a plague in San Angelo and alcoholism causes so much cancer and rips apart families. All you who are pro family, think about that one. How many of us know fathers and wives who can’t spend time with their kids because they’re regulars at the bars? How many people do we know who drove home drunk and barely made it and almost killed theirselves or others? Yeah it’s time to protest, but let’s protest in support of closing the bars. Make San Angelo great again. You have no rights to drink when you’re a coward who drives home drunk and puts all of us at risk.

Piss and moaner protestors...... If you gotta have beer, go to Walmart and buy you a 24 pack and stay your butts at home like you're supposed to and drink it..........

CGM5, Sat, 06/27/2020 - 21:53

I don't always agree with you (as they say iron sharpens iron) but your common sense is spot on. I agree with you 100%.

Remember: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
In response to all the nanny-state, hand wringing, dupes on this site equating opening up businesses (i.e., bars) as being tantamount to murder . . . get a grip!
The problem isn’t just closing down bars and restricting crowd-size in other venues, the problem is the loss of our fundamental liberties. Remember, these bureaucrats didn’t just initially close down bars. They also closed down, churches, funerals, nursing homes, etc..
You may be fine with bureaucrats closing down bars. But, how will you feel when your government prohibits some activity you cherish?
“. . . Then they came for the Jews And I did not speak out Because I was not a Jew, Then they came for me And there was no one left To speak out for me.”
I fear we’re on a slippery slope. Today the panic de jour is the COVID-19 virus (which has a 99% recovery rate). What about tomorrow? Using this extraordinary shutdown as precedent, what will our government do next? Are you certain that bureaucrats have more knowledge and insight regarding your protection than you have yourself? Are you willing to permanently sacrifice your rights for some vague, transient “public good?” Are you willing to lose your business or your job and go on government welfare to avoid the flu? I fear, judging from the inane comments on this thread, many of us are more than willing and that’s troubling.
"The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts." – Edmund Burke

Very well articulated. The sheeple will continue to beg for their own enslavement. They will celebrate this power grab via medical tyranny until they find themselves in the very same cage they wish for others.
“Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance.” ~Woodrow Wilson

Gov. Abbott has tried to present himself as a supporter of individual responsibility and minimum government interference; the mask requirement edict tells another story, however. He is all too willing to sacrifice our freedom for his political security. Remember this when you cast the next ballot.

Post a comment to this article here:

X Close