Fort Worth Club Plans to Stay Open Despite County Order
FORT WORTH, Texas – A Fort Worth club owner refuses to cease operations despite a county order issued last Friday to close stores that are classified as bars with less than 51% grocery sales.
The order came to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Tarrant County after the north Texas area hit seven consecutive days with over 15% hospital capacity due to the virus.
“I was a hazmat specialist for 10 years,” said Chris Polone.
His background has prepared him to respond to health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic and take the necessary steps to keep customers safe as he is the head of Rai Club Live in Fort Worth.
“We put serious security protocols into play to prevent the spread of COVID-19. So this is no different tonight,” he said.
He says that this is one of the reasons he is staying open and that he also considers the order to be unconstitutional.
“This is the third closure due to this unconstitutional mandate and three weeks before Christmas – no way,” Polone said.
Polone told Spectrum News 1 Texas that he believed the order was being enforced through harassment.
“They literally scare tactics, they come in and block all doors and exits … just to harass you and intimidate you into closing yourself,” he continued.
The owner of the live music venue says he also sees the situation as an attack on small business owners.
“It is completely arbitrary in itself. I mean, you have 14,000 people at the rodeo in Globe Life Park, ”he said.
Like Polone, others in the nightclub and bar industry believe it is their right to keep working.
“These people are hardworking people who are trying to support their families, to live the American dream and to cut them off like that, is wrong,” said Scottie Kilcrease, singer with the Tower High Band.
So they plan to keep their doors open and fight for what they think is right.
“We’re 100% here. We won the city of Fort Worth in court last Wednesday and we’re ready to do the same on December 23rd when we compete with TABC and testify on behalf of all the bars.” said Polone.
He also plans to fight for what he and those who support him consider to be the protection of their livelihoods.
“At the moment my family is making sure that we can pay for their Christmas presents. We are not deprived of that, especially after a shutdown without a discount being given or any suggestions or anything being received, ”he said.