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Locals feeling impact of business closures related to coronavirus

Bars, restaurant dining rooms in San Antonio ordered to close

SAN ANTONIO – The City Council is expected to extend an order calling for certain businesses to close for 30 days in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg signed an order Wednesday that shut down all bars in the city as of midnight.

The closures also extend to other places where people gather, such as gyms, bowling alleys, theaters and bingo parlors.

Restaurants were ordered to close their dining rooms, but they are allowed to serve takeout and drive-thru customers.

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Eugene Huerta showed up at a Northwest Side Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Thursday morning, expecting to dine in for breakfast.

“I thought they would open up in the morning,” he said. “But it says there, ‘drive-thru only,’ so I guess I’ll eat here now.”

As part of his alternate plan, he sat in his car alone eating a breakfast of bean and cheese, and egg and potato tacos.

His vehicle was the only one in the parking lot of a gym that had also closed due to the mayor’s order.

“It’s good to distance yourself to try to minimize the spread,” Huerta said. “You don’t want to get sick if you can help it.”

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He said the closures, so far, amount to a minor inconvenience for him.

Others, though, are feeling the effects a bit more.

Lisa Asbestas, who owns The Cove restaurant and 5 Points Local, said her employees are worried about their futures.

“I want to be very transparent with the team and I don’t want to say, you know, everything is going to be fine,” she said. “I don’t know, none of us know what is going to happen.”

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Service industry workers, such as wait staff and bartenders who rely on tips, are likely to be hit hard by the shutdowns.

“I know the whole community is hurting. I know all of San Antonio is hurting. But I’d really like to see some community support around restaurants at this time,” Asbestas said.


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