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Longtime Austin bar MugShots—known for its iconic photo booth and photos lining the walls—has closed its doors after 18 years of operation. Like other Austin businesses, it fell victim to the pandemic.
MugShots, which is on East 7th Street, released a statement on their Facebook page this weekend thanking the community for its support over the years, but that it is forced to shut its doors permanently.
When bars were first forced to shutdown in March, MugShots started a GoFundMe, raising more than $8,000.
Marcos Canchola, Brian Hyde and the late Keith Young opened MugShots in 2002. It was one of a string of bars to pop up in the area, including The Hideout Pub, Bender Bar & Grill, Pour House Pub, Violet Crown Social Club, Pour House Pints & Pies and Hitmaker Brewing Company.
More on bars in the pandemic:
Long-time patrons of downtown Austin dive bar and dance hall Donn's Depot won't let the music stop.(Chris Rutherford)
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
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Is it just us, or is the current Austin mask situation confusing? Are we supposed to wear a mask or not, and where? And should we wear one anyway, even if not requested or required?
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