Dallas Restaurants Need a Valentine’s and Fat Tuesday Do-Over After Winter Storm

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CocoAndre, the family-run chocolate shop in the Bishop Arts District, is only open eight days this month. COVID forced them to close the last week of January and turned their attention to any chocolatier’s busiest day, February 14, to drag them through the winter.

“Then we had to close because of snow,” said co-owner Cindy Pedraza this week. “We had to cancel some of our custom orders for Valentine’s Day. It’s one of our biggest money-makers, and we were really affected by the closure.”

Pedraza is trying to make up for the lost business with online courses and still has Valentine’s kits available for purchase. They also offer 20% off all handcrafted confectionery made from scratch, which has to be a tough hit right now.

In Uptown, Bisous Bisous Patisserie felt the same sense of defeat when Valentine’s Day turned into a weather nightmare.

“We had prepared for our biggest Valentine’s Day of all time and missed all of our sales forecasts by a double-digit amount,” says owner and pastry chef Andrea Meyer.

They benefited from some pre-orders and Saturday pickups before the weather got too dangerous, but it was “painful” to miss Sunday sales and try to reschedule or cancel orders for that day.

On January 26, the National Restaurant Association released its report on the state of the restaurant industry in 2021, a complete measure of the financial impact of the pandemic. Obviously, the news is not worthy of that beautiful bottle of champagne that you held onto.

Overall, foodservice and restaurant sales declined $ 240 billion in 2020 and December 1. More than 110,000 establishments were either temporarily or permanently closed. Almost 2.5 million jobs were lost in the industry in just one year.

The report noted that restaurants were hit harder than any other industry during the pandemic and are still showing the longest rise to pre-coronavirus employment. Surprisingly, most of the closed restaurants were “well-established businesses and institutions in their communities”. They were small, family-owned spots that may have lacked the safety net of corporate support.

Restaurant Association Hudson Riehle recently told CBS that Valentine’s Day has traditionally been the second biggest day of the year for the restaurant industry. Instead of filling the counters with take-away bags and shuffling socially distant couples through the dining rooms, many have not only lost that business, but may have incurred additional costs from spoilage, burst pipes, and other effects of the winter storm.

Muffuletta at The Free ManEXPAND

Muffuletta at The Free Man

Lauren Drewes Daniels

So it’s up to us to call up a few do-overs and show some love to our local spots. And when it comes to Valentine’s Day, if you are still with your loved one after the last year, you are completely solid. That alone is cause for celebration. Go it all out on Hallmark Day of the year. Kristina Rowe has compiled this list of restaurants that really stick their hips in.

For Redos on Fat Tuesday, local Cajun restaurants like The Free Man and Fish City Grill have postponed the Mardi Gras festivities until 6pm this Tuesday, February 23rd

Bucky Moonshines had their fat Tuesday last Saturday, but have you seen their lobster enchiladas? You should. They are good every day.

We wouldn’t be quick to skip National Margarita Day either, which was Monday February 22nd. We talked about it a little here but honestly we didn’t have enough time to prepare or drink as so many are still trying to find a booth after thawing. So we call a do-over here too. Have salt and ice on your terms!

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