bars, bowling alleys and other businesses were able to reopen Friday — the start of Memorial Day weekend — as long as they limited the number of customers to 25% of their allowed occupancy. And restaurants were able to start operating at 50% capacity.
The reopenings are part of Gov.
Greg Abbott's efforts to revive the state's battered economy, which appears headed for a recession. Even though businesses are allowed to reopen, experts caution that the economic recovery from a statewide shutdown will be slow due to continued fears of the coronavirus, among other factors.
Still, many Texans took advantage of being allowed to again frequent businesses they hadn’t visited for several weeks as establishments closed to stop the spread of the virus. Photographers Jordan Vonderhaar and Sergio Flores carefully ventured out, masked and mindful of social distance, to get a sense of how that looked on Friday and Saturday. Here are some of their photos.
A pair of scooter riders ride through an intersection in downtown Austin on May 23, 2020. (Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune) (Texas Tribune) People wait to cross the street in downtown Austin on May 23, 2020. (Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune) (Texas Tribune) People walk down the sidewalk in downtown Austin on Saturday. Photo credit: Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune (Texas Tribune) A bartender waits for customers at Buck Wild on West 6th street in downtown Austin as bars reopened Friday. Photo credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for the Texas Tribune (Texas Tribune) The San Jac Saloon attracts customers with drink specials and live music on Friday. Photo credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for the Texas Tribune (Texas Tribune) Customers sit at the bar in B.D. Riley's Irish Pub in Austin on Friday. (Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune) (Texas Tribune) Rae Rucker, 27, has missed her favorite hobby, bowling, during the pandemic. "There's plenty of space in here to maintain social distancing, which is definitely not the case where I work," the Austin bar employee said. Photo credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for the Texas Tribune (Texas Tribune) Patrons inside the Blind Pig Pub on West 6th Street in downtown Austin. ( Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune) (Texas Tribune)