SAN ANGELO, TX — The owner of Blaine’s Pub announced Tuesday evening he is re-opening the iconic stop on the Texas Country Music circuit at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, Oct. 14.
On Oct. 7, Governor Greg Abbott lifted an order that closed bars across the state of Texas since early May. Bars can open at 50 percent capacity, according to the order, if the county judge will allow it.
Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd along with San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter immediately announced bars are no longer restricted from opening, and can do so in accordance with the governor’s order, starting Oct. 14.
“For Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) where COVID-19 hospitalizations are less than 15 percent of hospital capacity, a County Judge may authorize the opening of bars and similar establishments at 50 percent occupancy,” Abbott ordered.
San Angelo and Tom Green County sit in the middle of Trauma Service Area K as defined by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. Although COVID-19 hospitalizations ebb and flow here, there has never been a rush of sick patients. Trauma Service Region K has stayed well below 5 percent capacity even with what was described as a spike of COVID-19 hospitalizations happened this week.
Capacity dropped as COVID patient admissions rose from 1.23 percent on Oct. 7 to 4.16 percent on Oct. 13. The only Trauma Service Areas having difficulty staying below 15 percent capacity is Trauma Center I located between Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley and Trauma Center T in the El Paso area. In El Paso, COVID-19 hospitalizations spiked to 17 percent Oct. 13. See hospital capacities on the Texas HHS Sick Map here.
Mayor Gunter called for the governor to allow San Angelo bars to open at full capacity. “This city is comprised of many small businesses that are our economic backbone,” Gunter stated in a letter to Abbott. Except for two or three drinking establishments, all bars in San Angelo are small businesses, including as examples:
- Blaine’s Pub, 10 W. Harris St. opens at 7 a.m.
- Deadhorse Live Music Venue, 210 S. Chadbourne St., opens at 11 a.m.
- Chadbourne Tavern, 115 S. Chadbourne St., opens at 4 p.m.
- Fiddlestrings Bar and Patio, 3301 Arden Rd., opens at 12 p.m.
Other bars were able to open earlier by also serving food and reclassified themselves as restaurants.
Cody Sturm, proprietor of Blaine’s, announced on Facebook his bar will open and the post went viral Tuesday evening.
“I’m updating the prices right now,” he said in a text to us. Sturm said he has been busy re-stocking and cleaning getting ready. Re-hiring staff was a hurdle, he said. Sturm had been holding out on re-opening plans until today when many regular patrons contacted him and highly encouraged him to open.
“I’ve been on a long vacation,” Sturm said.
Sturm hasn’t worked out his live music schedule, but promised that as soon as he is booking bands again, the announcements will be made on his social media and his website. For right now, opening at just 50 percent capacity makes it tough to pay for live music.