“No shoes, no service,” is a common sign at restaurants. But a sign at a Texas restaurant reflects the era of the coronavirus pandemic.
Liberty Tree Tavern, in Elgin, has a notice posted outside the business: “Due to our concern for our citizens, if they feel the need to wear a mask, then they should probably stay home until it’s safe."
Some critics are calling the move irresponsible, but the owners of the tavern. located east of Austin, said they are making a statement.
“It is more of a push back -- the snitches, and the contact tracers out there,” Kevin Smith, the tavern’s co-owner, told KXAN. “This is still a rural county.”
According to the television station, Elgin has slightly more than 10,000 residents. City officials said that since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 52 reported cases of COVID-19.
“I think that’s a risk. I think that’s foolish,” Elgin resident Ross Owens told KXAN when asked about the tavern’s policy. “They’re taking chances they don’t need to take, especially if they’re in public service.”
Charles Chamberlain said he had been waiting for the tavern to reopen, so its policy does not bother him.
“I’m a stage 4 cancer survivor. It’s just a choice. He just put that up there to let people know if they aren’t feeling good, then they maybe shouldn’t come,” Chamberlain told KXAN. “Everybody is keeping safe distances, they aren’t bunching up.”
Sherrill Schier, another business owner in Elgin, said he has masks available for people who stop by his business, ETX Travel.
“People are just comfortable. We are a small town, we don’t have a lot of crowds," Schier said. “We are OK."
© 2020 Cox Media Group