San Antonio business owners share split opinions on lifting mask mandate

Some businesses choosing to reopen at full capacity Wednesday

Some San Antonio area businesses will still enforce a mask policy.
Some San Antonio area businesses will still enforce a mask policy.

SAN ANTONIO – Texas is now 100% open, and while the state no longer has a mask mandate in place, face coverings may still be required at some businesses.

Several businesses at the Pearl have not changed their health and safety policies despite Gov. Greg Abbott rescinding the mandate.

Many businesses at the Pearl still require customers to wear masks, including Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery.

“We just want everybody to feel safe and enjoy their time with us,” said Allison Balfour, co-owner and administrative officer of Southerleigh Hospitality Group.

Customers must wear a mask when they enter the restaurant.

“We even had people yesterday that were trying to come through and not wear a mask, even though it’s still required. And, you know, we’ve had some people be very nasty to our young men and women that are working at the front door,” Balfour said. “And they’re just trying to do their jobs. They’re just trying to do their jobs and stay safe.”

Balfour said even though they are allowed to open the business at 100%, they are still operating at 50% due to health and safety reasons.

“We want to keep our tables separated. We don’t want to get too crowded in here,” Balfour said.

Bananas Billiards is reopening at 100% capacity.

“We have plenty of room for people to kind of naturally social distance,” said Connie Turner, retired U.S. Air Force veteran and owner of Bananas Billiards.

Turner and Rick Moreno bought the location in 2018.

“We were doing so well before COVID,” Turner said.

Turner said they were shut down for a total of seven months with zero revenue coming in.

They will be encouraging customers to wear a mask but will not require it.

“I think that should have been done a long time ago,” Moreno said.

Turner said they continue offering hand sanitizer, and they have a company that cleans the facility.

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