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Show Of Solidarity: Texas Bar Trade Group Proposes 'Soft Launch' Closed To Public

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - While gyms are set to reopen Monday, one industry not yet on the list is bars.

But the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance is asking local bars to participate in a soft launch set for Friday night.

The goal is to implement the ten guidelines the alliance has already issued to the government and prove their readiness to open.

Mark Kelcher, the owner of 12 North Texas bars, said a soft launch for tonight may be premature. "I think it is a great idea if and only if we are allowed to open Monday," Kelcher said.

But no open date was announced. Kelcher is one of countless bar owners in Texas whose establishments have had zero revenue over the last two months.

He told CBS 11 News in a zoom interview Friday, many of his restaurant and bars were looped into the 51% category and have not been allowed to open. Those are locations where more than 50% of the revenue comes from bar sales.

According to the alliance, the soft launch is not open to the public and alcohol will not be served. But it's a show of solidarity.

Kelcher said, "I am hoping he allows bars to open at 25% and he moves restaurants to 50%. I think that is fair. I think restaurants as a whole have learned quite a bit on how to keep safe distancing and sanitary habits. And I think we are ready to go to 50% from the restaurants point of view and I think for the 51%'s, the bars, I think 25% is completely fair as long as we again practice safe habits and social distancing."

The soft launch is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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