liberty tavern no masks
While most business owners around the country are mandating that customers cover their faces, one bar in Texas is taking a different approach.

The owners of Liberty Tree Tavern in Elgin, Texas, have hung a sign in the window, notifying customers that they are not to wear face masks inside the establishment. The sign read, "No masks allowed. Due to our concern for our citizens, if they feel the need to wear a mask, then they should probably stay home until it's safe."

The bar's co-owner, Kevin Smith, said that he has been following the Centers for Disease Control's guidance on social distancing but believes the issue of face masks has been taken too far.

Kevin Smith Liberty Tree Tavern no masks
Kevin Smith, co-owner of the Liberty Tree Tavern
"It is more of a push back — the snitches, and the contact tracers out there," he told KXAN on Tuesday. "This is still a rural county."

Elgin is a town of approximately 10,000 people. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus began, the town has had 52 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus. Some of the residents feel the rural community doesn't need to strictly adhere to a face mask policy.

"People are just comfortable. We are a small town, we don't have a lot of crowds. We are okay," said Sherrill Schier, the owner of a nearby business.

"I'm a stage 4 cancer survivor. It's just a choice. He just put that up there to let people know if they aren't feeling good, then they maybe shouldn't come," said Charles Chamberlain, a customer of the bar. "Everybody is keeping safe distances, they aren't bunching up."

While some support the bar's policy, others found it to be irresponsible.

"I think that's a risk. I think that's foolish," said Ross Owens. "They're taking chances they don't need to take, especially if they're in public service."

The tavern is abiding by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's coronavirus orders. Currently, restaurants in the state are allowed to serve customers indoors at 25% capacity along with unlimited outdoor service.