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Coronavirus in Texas

Photos of Texas' continued reopening: Bars, bowling alleys and other businesses welcome back customers

As Texas gradually reopens, bars were allowed to open their doors to start off Memorial Day weekend. Texas Tribune photographers were out Friday and Saturday to capture how that went in Austin.

A bouncer sprays customer's hands with hand sanitizer, a common sight as Texas bars reopen on Friday.

Texas bars, bowling alleys and other businesses were able to reopen Friday — the start of Memorial Day weekend — as long as they limited the number of customers to 25% of their occupancy. And restaurants were able to start operating at 50% capacity.

The reopenings are part of Gov. Greg Abbott's efforts to revive the state's battered economy, which appears headed for a recession. Although businesses are allowed to reopen, experts caution that the economic recovery from a statewide shutdown will be slow due to continued fears of the coronavirus, among other factors.

Still, many Texans took advantage of being allowed to again frequent businesses they hadn't visited for several weeks as establishments closed to stop the spread of the virus. In Houston, officials said they'd received hundreds of complaints about businesses being overcrowded and vowed to crack down on establishments not adhering to Abbott's guidelines.

On Friday and Saturday, photographers Jordan Vonderhaar and Sergio Flores carefully ventured out in Austin, masked and mindful of social distance, to get a sense of how the reopenings went. Here are some of their photos.

A bartender waits for customers at Buck Wild on West Sixth Street in downtown Austin as bars reopen on May 22, 2020.

Patrons inside the Blind Pig Pub on West 6th Street in downtown Austin on May 22, 2020.
Patrons enjoy drinks at B.D. Riley's Irish Pub in Austin on May 22, 2020.

The San Jac Saloon attracts customers with drink specials and live music on May 22, 2020.
Rae Rucker, age 27, a server at a local bar, has missed her favorite hobby, bowling, during the pandemic. "There's plenty of…

People wait to cross the street in downtown Austin on May 23, 2020.
A pair of scooter riders ride through an intersection in downtown Austin on May 23, 2020.
People walk down the sidewalk in downtown Austin on May 23, 2020.

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