On March 13, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price issued her first emergency declaration which did not require the closing of “non-essential” businesses but limited the size of gatherings and limited the capacity of certain businesses to 50 percent.
The next declaration update, issued on March 18, further limited gatherings in public but also required bars, theaters, gyms, and others to close.
The third update even further limited the public gathering size to 10 people and did not move the ball further on business closures. However, shortly thereafter, the fourth city declaration expanded the list of business closures exponentially and included barbershops, salons, churches, and more.
On March 24, the mayor’s new order specifically required individuals to stay at home and prohibited public gatherings beyond single households.
A few days after that, the first citations were issued.
The first two came on March 27, with officials citing BriteZone, a car wash, and B & H Discount Furniture & Bazaar for defying the city’s closure order.
Chubby’s, a bar on the west side of Fort Worth, was cited twice — once on March 31 and once on April 2.
Two grocery stores, H & S Grocery and Mr. J’s, were cited, not for the operation of the business, but for the operation of gaming machines within their respective stores.
Another establishment, Prime Smoke Shop, was cited for the same violation on May 13.
Additionally, two bars — the Thirsty Armadillo, in the Stockyards, and World of Beer — were cited for operating in violation of the closure order in early May.
The information from the city did not specify what the exact fine amounts were.
The state’s order, its interpretation, and local government enforcement have sometimes been in contention with one another, but fines up to $1,000 have always been a punishment listed by both the state and local orders.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.