Kilgore owner holds protest urging the Governor to allow bars to reopen

Local News

HENDERSON, Texas (KETK) – Bar owners in East Texas staged a protest in Henderson, reacting to Governor Abbott shutting down bars for a second time due to COVID-19.

The small gathering didn’t compare to the hundreds that came together just last week. However, with few people, the message remained the same.

“He’s closed down two of my businesses, I have no income whatsoever, my employees didn’t get a paycheck Friday, we have no income, the gas is cut off , the electrics next, I can’t pay the rent,” explained Tee Allen Parker, owner of Machine Shed Bar & Grill.

Parker has taken this fight all the way to the capitol. Taking part in a “Bar Lives Matter” protest outside of Governor Abbott’s home. Parker says she did everything right and legally, still when she returned from her trip she was shocked by the letter she received.

“They gave me a 30 day suspension back dated to the 28th,” said Parker.

Originally, she explains Sunday’s protest was meant to happen outside of her own bar, but after a visit from the TABC, she was strongly urged to move it somewhere else. Still, with supporters still behind her, she is hoping the Governor will hear her plea.

“let us sit down with him, let us talk with him about how we can safely keep our customers safe,” said Parker.

Parker is just one of 30 Texas bar owners to file a lawsuit against the Governor. In the suit, owners are urging for atleast 24 hour notice before having to shut their doors.

“Nothing he’s doing will stand in the court of law. There’s nothing that he has done so far that proves that it curves the pandemic,” said Shenita Cleveland, a small business owner.

Cleveland believes the problem is centered on owners not being able to make a living. Now, bar owners join millions of Texans who are jobless.

“It’s not working and it’s harming people. business owners, real business owners that are looking to make a better way in this country,” explained Cleveland.

As new orders are expected to come out of the Governor’s office, many are hopeful bars will be allowed to re-open.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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