Lubbock bar reopens under new license - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock bar reopens under new license

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Despite the new license, The Lantern Tavern will stick to stricter restrictions meant for bars (before the shutdown) Despite the new license, The Lantern Tavern will stick to stricter restrictions meant for bars (before the shutdown)
LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Lantern Tavern is back open for business, after a 51 day closure. First in line for a seat, was the Swindell family. 

"Everyone here is like family and they treat you like family. Doesn't matter if this is your first time, or your 100th time," regular customer Rick Swindell said.

They have been coming 2 to 3 times a week, for more than a decade.  Never even missing a Sunday brunch.

"There's no other place like this in Lubbock," Kara Swindell said. "It was hard, sounds kind of crazy, but we missed our friends," she added.

Instead of a bar, the Lantern has re-opened as a restaurant, thanks to a new expedited license from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission or T.A.B.C.

Now, to stay open,  it will have to make 51% or more of its sales from food. For regulars like the Swindells, it makes no difference.

"It's very kid-friendly, which we love, the food is amazing. I don't think people realize that, how good the food is here," Kara Swindell said.

It's not a guarantee but a chance to get back on track in troubled times.

"People have been going to restaurants and drinking, so now we have to try to convince people that they can come to the bars and eat food," Owner Shane Blum said.

From the beginning, Blum says his team has gone above and beyond to follow the rules.

This time, he says that they are not taking any chances.

"Me and my staff, we've decided we still want to operate on those stricter bar guidelines just to make sure that the T.A.B.C. or somebody doesn't come in and say 'you have too many people gathering around, we want to shut you down again,'" Blum explained. 

Customers are required to sit at tables, instead of hanging around by the bar, which is now stocked with cleaning supplies.  Capacity is cut in half and closing time is 2 hours earlier.

"So you just want to be assured that wherever you go that you're doing the right thing. And this is one of the places that do the right thing," Rick Swindell said.

The Gaslight, also owned by Blum, will begin its operations as a restaurant as well in a couple of weeks.

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