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Panther Island Brewing in Fort Worth prepares to open after months of COVID shutdown

This family-owned business is opening its doors at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday in Fort Worth. Employees are prepared to follow all safety guidelines.

FORT WORTH, Texas — This year has been unpredictable for Johnnye Michael and her family. They own Panther Island Brewing in Fort Worth off Main Street.

"It's just crazy. We've been closed more this year than we've been open, and our taproom is our heart," said Michael.

She said it's been frustrating and sad to experience the COVID-19 pandemic as a local business owner. The brewery was shut down in March, reopened for a short time in the summer, but closed again due to state orders. 

Governor Greg Abbott announced recently that bars are allowed to reopen on Wednesday, Oct. 14 if the county decides to do so. Tarrant County bars can open at half capacity.

RELATED: Tarrant County officials to allow bars to reopen at 50% capacity

Chris Porter with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said, "We are going to locations and conducting inspections, sometimes openly, sometimes undercover, to ensure they are complying with the rules."

Michael is confident about the safety measures at Panther Island Brewing. She is most concerned about another statewide or countywide closure of bars. 

"I think I'm most nervous about being shut down again without any warning," said Michael. 

Her family business has followed all the rules from the state and the CDC. They changed protocols to make sure all customers and employees stay as safe as possible. This includes a mask requirement, tables that are six feet apart, and sanitizing stations. She hopes all bars and businesses do the same. 

"Everyone needs to be accountable and do what they can to keep everyone safe," said Michael.

At 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Panther Island Brewing will reopen at 50% capacity. 

"We're so excited to have people back in," said Michael.