Couple asked to leave Texas bar for violating ‘no mask’ policy

ROWLETT, Texas (KTVT) – The owner of a Texas bar is defending his “no masks allowed” policy after asking a couple to leave when they refused to take their masks off while inside.

Natalie Wester and her husband went to Hang Time, a bar and restaurant in Rowlett, Texas, with a few friends last week. It’s something they don’t often get to do as new parents.

“If you’ve ever been new parents… having those couple of hours out like once a month or so is so important for your mental health,” Wester said.

The Westers are fully vaccinated, but they choose to wear masks when they go out in order to protect their 4-month-old son, who is immunocompromised. But at Hang Time, they were told they had to take their masks off.

“Our waitress came over, sat down next to me and said, ‘Our manager sent me over because I am nicer than he is. And yes, this is very political, but you need to take your mask off,’” Wester said.

The bar has a “no masks allowed” policy, one that’s uncommon amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But Tom, the owner, says he considers it part of the dress code.

“I have spent my money on this business. I put my blood, sweat and tears in this business, and I don’t want any masks in here,” he said. “I feel the overall reaction with the masks is ridiculous in the United States right now.”

The owner says it’s a private business, and he has every right to refuse service to those who want to wear a mask. There’s no sign announcing the policy, but the hostess tells everyone who is wearing a mask that they must take it off at the door.

“So, when they put their masks on the other night, they were reminded that they were asked at the front to take it off. They didn’t want to, so we asked them to leave,” said the owner of the Westers.

The bar owner says he was unaware of the Westers’ immunocompromised son, but the “no mask” policy is something he believes in strongly and will continue to enforce.

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