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Local bars and breweries frustrated over COVID-19 regs unite

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 3:43 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) – A GoFundMe account has been established to help local craft breweries crippled by restrictions ordered to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“With our establishments shut down (and no end in sight), many businesses are facing challenges that we had never foreseen,” organizer William Steakley wrote.

“Waco Craft Bar & Brewery Rescue aims to be a relief fund for the businesses that have provided craft beverages for all of us to enjoy.”

The account, created to help Bare Arms Brewing, Barnett’s Public House, Brotherwell Brewing, Dancing Bear Pub, Truelove Bar, Southern Roots Brewing and Waco Ale Company, had raised just less than $2,000 of its $75,000 goal by mid-afternoon Friday.

Donations will be split evenly among the seven businesses.

“Everybody that’s in that position, that’s not allowed to be open, is struggling, there’s no denying it, there’s no question,” said Brett Stewart, owner of Waco Ale Company. “People have bills to pay, people have staff salaries to pay, and it’s been pretty tough.”

Normally competitors, the bars and breweries are uniting because they’re fed up and ready to stand up for themselves.

"The rising tide lifts all boats, so by coming together, we can help build the tide," said Kevin Yackley, owner of Bare Arms Brewing.

The business owners feel they’re being treated unfairly.

"There's no difference, in my opinion, between having a beer and having a beer and a basket of fries," said Stewart.

Their bottom line: they want to re-open, and they don't see an end in sight.

“I know schools are opening--I don’t know when my brew pub is opening,” said Dustin Evans, General Manager of Southern Roots Brewing Company. “We need some visibility, we need some guidance, and we need some hard dates, we can’t really plan for next year because we don’t know if there is a next year at this point.”

The group says the public can suport local bars, breweries and restaurants by requesting local craft products and Waco-made products.

They can also reach out to lawmakers.

What you need to know about the new coronavirus and its impact on Central Texas.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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