After Over a Month of Closed Doors, What’s Next for Dallas Restaurants?

Due to the pandemic affecting every aspect of society, the usual food news is suspended indefinitely. Today’s edition of News Bites, for the sixth year in a row, will cover the hot topics for dining in Dallas.

Governor Greg Abbott issued his last order on April 17, almost a month before the day restaurants and bars were forced to close to the public. The order will ease some restrictions on closed shops, but it says, “People should avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants and food courts. However, the use of drive-through, pick-up or delivery options for food and drink is allowed. ”So not much has changed. However, such a statement hasn’t stopped organizations from pushing for restaurants to reopen.

The Texas Restaurant Association plans to safely reopen restaurants. This includes allowing certain employees to or must wear gloves and masks, restricting tables to 10 or fewer guests, and using signage and / or floor markings to help customers comply with social distance guidelines (I can imagine how effective Tim Rogers finds this to be).

The lockdown was tough nationwide. According to a TRA survey, 34 percent of Texan operators say they have temporarily closed their restaurant since the coronavirus outbreak began in March, and another 38 percent expect to temporarily close their restaurant in the next 30 days.

But are we ready? Is running a restaurant with partial capacity a sustainable business model? And is it safe enough without extensive testing? An Eater article deals with such questions, with restaurateurs being nervous about both economic and health risks. We’ll have to wait until next week to see if the governor eases current food restrictions.

For now, I’ll be doing as much takeaway as possible and donating to food aid programs. Psst, if you subscribe to D Magazine, we’ll donate half of the proceeds to the North Texas Food Bank, which has had an unprecedented need recently.

Colleyville wants to open restaurant patios – the governor’s orders are damned
The suburb of Fort Worth has decided, against the state mandate that restaurants only serve take-away food and drinks, to reopen public spaces and places – including restaurant patios. You can read more about it on Dallas Culturemap or Dallas Eater.

So what’s wrong with the Federal Paycheck Protection Program? I wrote about it this morning.

Today is Earth Day. We will drink to it!
If you’ve been online a lot lately – and isn’t that where life takes place these days? -, you may have noticed the “We Are the Virus” meme. With traffic jams becoming a thing of the past and air quality improving, signs of nature in bloom have become a popular internet topic. If staying home means slowing the spread of a deadly virus and encouraging the squirrels in the neighborhood even more, hey, I’ll make a glass of wine. To help with such a toast, Bar and Garden on Ross Avenue has an Earth Day offer: Save 10 percent on biodynamic and natural wines with the code MUSTLOVEDIRT. Natural (or “shabby”) wines for all cool cats and kittens are subject to more sustainable practices than a larger vineyard.

Dallas, your restaurants are being broken into
The Dallas Observer reports that two restaurants, Mimi’s Pizzeria and Rex’s Seafood, were broken into cash and robbed. And to double the sin, it happened on Easter Sunday of all places. Five days ago, Fiction Coffee posted on Instagram that it too had a slump. They found their glass door broken, but nothing else was taken and no one was injured. Times are tough folks, let’s get along well.

Watch me, your SideDish editor, hang out with Texas Monthly Taco editor, José R. Ralat
In this week’s episode of Let’s put the Editors on Instagram Live, I’ll be talking to José R. Ralat, whose new book American Tacos was published last week. His taco band was in the making for six years, but now that it’s out there, Ralat has made the media rounds – at least virtually. We’ll talk about his book and his tacos while we eat tacos, together but separately. Order takeaway taco and join us on D Magazine’s Instagram on Thursday April 23rd at 4:30 p.m.

Meanwhile on SideDish

The take-out and delivery list lives on. We try to keep an eye on restaurants that close quietly but tips are welcome. If you see a place that is temporarily or permanently closed, please drop me a line.

The only Filipino restaurant in Dallas is critically endangered, part of the culinary diversity that makes it so darn exciting to eat in this city.

The federal government put in place an aid program, but much of it missed the smallest businesses and threatened the future of the Dallas hospitality industry.

Virtual wine tasting: it’s one thing!

Feed the Front Line helps independent restaurants stay in business while feeding health workers. It started in Dallas and Houston and the initiative is rapidly expanding to all states.

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