Several LGBT nightclubs in Dallas will remain closed this weekend, despite GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to allow bars in Texas to reopen beginning Friday.
The majority of clubs on the Cedar Springs strip — Dallas’ main LGBT entertainment district — will not be opening right away, with owners saying they believe it is unsafe, Eater Dallas reports.
“As you may have heard, the State of Texas has cleared bars to reopen effective Friday, May 22,” the Round-Up Saloon, an iconic gay country-western bar, wrote on Facebook this week. “However, after much evaluation and discussion, The Round-Up has decided that the prudent decision is for us to remain closed at this time. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution and an overriding concern for the health and safety of our team members and you, our customers.”
Other gay bars that will remain closed include JR’s Bar & Grill, Station 4, Sue Ellen’s, the Dallas Eagle, and Alexandre’s.
“I do believe there are certain businesses that can safely open with certain precautions. Bars aren’t one of them,” Alexandre’s owner Lee Daugherty told WFAA-TV. “We’re built off of a model where people socialize with each other. It’s very difficult to police that, especially around alcohol consumption.”
One gay Dallas club featuring go-go dancers that plans to reopen Friday, the Tin Room, said in a Facebook post that it has already received “threats from people about breaking rules.”
Club Dallas, a gay bathhouse, announced Wednesday it plans to reopen May 25, with temperature checks at the door and masks required in some areas. Club Dallas’ locker rooms, showers and “play spaces” will remain closed, but private dressing rooms will be available for rent.
“Social distancing must be maintained in all areas,” Club Dallas wrote on Facebook, in an announcement that has apparently since been removed.
Meanwhile, one longstanding gay bar in Dallas — Zippers — announced it is closing permanently as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
“To all our amazing customers, we are beyond sorry to say that our landlord here at Zippers does not want to work with us on the rent for being forced to close,” Zippers wrote on Facebook. “We are all heart broke over this. Thank you all so much for all the love you have shown us over the years. We will miss you all.”