Rowlett sports bar kicks out couple for wearing masks
ROWLETT, Texas - A local sports bar is getting a lot of unwanted attention for its mask policy.
The owner of Hang Time Sports Bar and Grill in Rowlett tells FOX 4 not only does he not require masks, but they are banned.
A couple put their story on social media about being told by employees they had to take their masks off, and word spread from there.
Natalie Wester and her husband Jose Lopez say they were inside the Hang Time Restaurant for less than 10 minutes. The couple claims they were told to leave because both of them were wearing masks.
"There was no signage, no anything," Lopez said. "We walked in and the hostess told us to remove it, but we thought it was just for our IDs to check if it was valid."
They say they went to their table to join friends when a waitress walked up to them.
"She was like, ‘You need to take your mask off. It’s a political thing for us, and we don’t believe in it. It’s a strict no-mask policy. So, if you don’t want to take it off, we will close your check out,’" Wester recalled.
Wester says she left $20 to cover the bill and left and then posted the experience on social media.
Both new parents say they’re fully vaccinated for their safety but most importantly for their son Austin’s safety. The 4-month-old has cystic fibrosis.
"At the end of the day, it’s our son’s health over someone’s political views and it’s an easy choice," Lopez said.
Tom Blackmer, the owner of Hang Time, has been fielding calls non-stop explaining the required dress code.
"No biker cuts, no saggy pants and no masks," he said.
Blackmer, who didn’t want to disclose his vaccination status, backs his policy that he says has been in place since April of this year, claiming it’s a private, family business.
"F***k the pandemic. I don’t care about that s**t. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the masks," he said.
The bar and grill owner says he’s hasn’t thought twice about kicking the couple out, making it clear either stay home or don’t come.
"There’s a bar right over there. There are bars around the lake," he said. "You can go anywhere in the world with a mask on, and please do. But in here, you can’t wear a mask."
"It’s just all very strange anyone would tell a customer not to wear a mask," Wester said.
Right now, there isn’t a mask mandate in Rowlett.
Wester says she doesn’t plan on taking legal action but says her family will never be back.