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Changing rules frustrate management at popular local bar

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 7:15 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A popular Waco bar that was closed for months finally reopened as a restaurant last week on the same day Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order allowing bars to reopen at 50% capacity in qualifying counties.

Kevin McBride, the general manager of Scruffy Murphy’s, is a little frustrated.

“Right now we’re just kind of doing it night-by-night trying to figure out how we’re going to make sure that we’re following all the laws and new rules that seem to come out every day,” said McBride.

“Scruffs” had been working for a month and a half to get a permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to reopen as a restaurant

The bar finally reopened as a restaurant on Oct. 7.

McBride said he’d just finished hauling the last box of food from Sam’s Club into the bar when he got an alert on the KWTX app about the governor’s order.

“It came through on my app on my phone, I was like ‘awesome,’” McBride said sarcastically.

While the process has been painful, McBride says it may have been a blessing in disguise.

“We got the food truck out of it, we’re going to start having food here which is something we’ve always wanted to do and we haven’t done before,” said McBride.

In addition, while the bar doesn’t need to meet the 51% food-to-alcohol sales requirement right now, McBride says it wasn’t all a waste because it now has the permit to continue operating in case the rules change again.

“We’ve already done all the paperwork to make sure we can stay open if they decide that bars need to close again,” said McBride.

“From now on we’re considered a restaurant, so we’re not opening as a bar, we’re opening as a restaurant.”

He says the bar is going to continue operating as a restaurant for at least the next four months, which is when its trial period and permit with the TABC runs out.

The Baylor hangout will also be keeping its new food truck and construction is udnerway in the back for the truck’s permanent home.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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