NewsCoronavirus

Actions

Couple kicked out of Texas bar for refusing to take off masks

Parents were protecting immunocompromised son
Kicked out over masks
Posted at 10:43 AM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 12:59:05-04

A Dallas-area woman says she and her husband were kicked out of a restaurant because they chose to wear masks to protect their son, who has cystic fibrosis.

In a Facebook post earlier this month, Natalie Wester said she and her husband went to meet friends for a night out at Hang Time, a bar in Rowlett, Texas. Wester said in her Facebook post that the hostess asked the couple to remove their masks when they checked their IDs, but the couple put their masks back on when they got to their table.

Wester says she and her husband are fully vaccinated but chose to wear masks because their 4-month-old son has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that puts him at risk for a severe COVID-19 infection.

The couple continued to wear their masks after ordering drinks and an appetizer. But about 30 minutes later, a waitress approached them and told them to take off their masks.

"...our waitress comes, sits down next to me, and says 'Our manager sent me over because I'm nicer than he is. And yes, this is political,'" Wester wrote.

Wester claims the waitress told her that she didn't believe that masks worked in preventing the spread of COVID-19, despite the numerous scientific studies that prove otherwise.

When Wester told the waitress about her son's condition, she says the waitress told her "that she could close my check for me if it was an issue."

"My husband and I paid and left without a scene," Wester wrote.

KTVT-TV in Dallas spoke to the owner of Hang Time, who confirmed Wester's story.

"I have spent my money on the business, my blood, sweat and tears in this business, and I don't want masks in here," owner Tom Blackmer told KTVT. "I feel the overall reaction with masks is ridiculous in the United States right now."

In speaking with The Dallas Morning News, Blackmer said that the couple had "a choice to go wherever they want; there are thousands of bars around here. Go somewhere else. ... If you are protecting somebody, you should not go out."

Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an order that prevented any jurisdiction in the state from enacting a mask mandate, including school districts.

While Texas has seen declining case rates in the past week, the state still has the second-highest number of new cases per 100,000 residents, trailing only Florida, according to Johns Hopkins.