Belton tattoo artist John Strack has limited the number of customers in the room he works in for years, a policy that he has doubled down on since he has resumed work.
Local tattoo artists and shops have seen a constant stream of customers wanting to get new tattoos or piercings after being allowed to reopen Monday by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Gyms and child care facilities were also opened Monday, with bars, bowling alleys, bingo halls and rodeo events to be allowed to resume Friday.
Strack, who works at Not Just Ink Tattoos and Body Piercing in Belton, said he thinks that after being forced to stay inside, many of the customers he is seeing now just want to do something.
“It’s kind of scary, it’s nerve wracking but I am still here to serve the general public,” he said. “We didn’t have a line standing outside the door, we were able to get things put away pretty quickly, but it has been pretty swamped.”
Chris Simmons, owner of Lucky in Love Tattoo in Temple, said shops have had an easier time transitioning to the new rules because of how similar they are to the current rules for the tattoo industry. Even with capacity restrictions Simmons said their normal level of customers was already below what is required.
Strack said Not Just Ink already is cleaning the building with hospital grade chemicals and sterilizes their equipment.
“Our standard was already so high that we didn’t really need to add very much other than some screening questions upon arrival,” Simmons said. “There has already been some (rules) put into effect about what PPE we need to have, and we already have all of that. We have made some small changes by not many because of the way we choose to do business.”
Other local businesses, such as Spare Time Texas in Temple, will open today while following occupancy and social distancing restrictions.
Mike Emmons and Rick Heim, owners of Spare Time Texas, said in a statement they would be reopen today with a “laser focus” on the safety of customers and employees. The business will only be reopening its bar, restaurant and bowling operations while observing social distancing and doing temperature checks on employees.
The company has decided to cancel summer bowling clubs and leagues, and will transition to being completely cashless.
Jim Maxson, the owner of the Bowlerama in Killeen, said the bowling alley will be opening today.
The business has a maximum capacity of 250 people, so 25 percent capacity is around 62 people in the bowling alley at a time, according to Maxson.
“Definitely excited. It was exactly two months on May 18 that we had to close. We’re looking forward to it. We’ve already had some of our league bowlers call in to reserve times,” Maxson said.
Hallmark Lanes in Killeen will also be opening today with adjusted hours.
The hours will be noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the business’s website.
Hallmark is requesting that all customers wear face masks, and masks will be available to purchase for $1, according to the website. Bowlers can take off their masks while at the lane or table, but masks must be worn in community areas, according to the website.
Texas Skateland in Harker Heights — which features a roller-skating rink — is able to reopen today because of the governor’s orders but the business will not be reopening yet.
Shirley Morken is one of the owners of Texas Skateland and she said the business will not be reopening until early June at the earliest. She said the estimated date to open is June 12.
Local bars in the area will also be allowed to reopen, with Firebase Brewing Company in downtown Temple planning to open for the first time to customers coming to sit down. The microbrewery had opened during the restrictions on the business, only offering to-go orders.
Hunter King of FME News Service contributed to this report.