Buck’s Backyard, an indoor-outdoor restaurant and music venue on the western outskirts of Buda, announced Monday night on its Facebook page that it plans to reopen on May 22. Its website lists live music performances the nights of May 22 and May 23, which would be among the first such events in Central Texas since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Facebook post noted that the establishment “plans to move ahead with an aggressive, integrated plan to anticipate the resources and strategies necessary to successfully — and safely — reopen … We will be working with both local and state officials, the health department and #REVS (Reopen Every Venue Safely) to ensure we remain hyper-pragmatic and understanding of the challenges ahead.”
The post also directed readers to the “policies” page on the venue’s website for more information. The one notation on that page that appears to be a recent addition directly related to the pandemic states: “All parties must remain at least 6 ft apart.” No details are given as to how that policy will be enforced, or what the consequences will be for anyone who doesn’t comply. As of Tuesday afternoon, the polices list did not include any mention of requiring masks to be worn.
The website’s events section lists a show by rock band the Genders at 9 p.m. on May 22, and one featuring grunge tribute band Nothing Left at 9 p.m. on May 23. The website does not specify whether the performances will be in the venue’s indoor space, which has a capacity of several hundred, or its outdoor yard, which has room for more than 1,000.
Reopen Every Venue Safely is a pilot program recently launched by Music Cities Together, an initiative to help save music venues. Music Cities Together partly involves Sound Music Cities, an Austin-based LLC helmed by Don Pitts, formerly the head of the city’s music and entertainment office. Music Cities Together recently conducted a COVID-19 impact survey covering several U.S. cities with prominent music communities, including Austin.
While some Austin restaurants have reopened at reduced capacity since state officials lifted some restrictions, bars and music venues in the city have remained shuttered. A gray area is restaurants that also feature live music. The website for New World Deli on North Lamar Boulevard indicates the potential return of live music on its stage later this month.