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Tarrant County bars reopen, as Dallas County bars remain closed

As of Wednesdays, some bars in Texas can reopen, while others must remain closed. It's based on the county's decision.

DALLAS — At 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, the doors of Panther Island Brewing in Fort Worth rolled open. 

Johnnye Michael and her staff moved tables six feet apart, added sanitizing stations and friendly reminders for social distancing and masks. 

"I'm ready for people to come in and have a beer with us," said Michael. 

For the first time in months, customers are allowed in the taproom. 

Per state and Tarrant County guidelines, bars in Tarrant County are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity. 

"It's kind of emotional today because it's been so hard the last seven months, and to be able to open our doors, it was some sort of normalcy that we haven't had in so long," said Michael.

That sense of normalcy is something bar owners in Dallas County are still waiting for, as bars in Dallas County are not allowed to reopen yet. 

Lee Daugherty, owner of Alexandre's in Oak Lawn, said his bar has been closed for seven months. He's been in business nearly 16 years, and never closed for one day until March 17 with the COVID-19 shutdown.

He misses pouring cocktails over conversation. 

"I would rather the bar be open, but I understand completely why it needs to be closed right now, and I am personally not mad about that," said Daugherty.

While bars in neighboring cities are reopening, Daugherty patiently waits in Dallas.