Dallas Restaurants Report Busiest Weekend Since Pandemic Began
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Nachos and laughter ran across picnic tables and patios in the Bishop Arts District that weekend. Almost perfect weather, spring break vibes, and maybe a few stimulus checks on bank accounts didn’t let people out in droves, but rather in a mild way that was crammed together for too long. Other factors, such as low COVID-19 hospital stay rates and more gun shots, could have played a role.
Pedestrian traffic was weak in the early afternoon but increased as the sun set. Patrons filled tables in restaurants and bars, most of which were socially distant. Every now and then a vintage car rolled slowly down Bishop Ave, taking its time to see and be seen. Parklet diners, which were as full as they could get, had a rubberneck
Restaurateurs across town had banner weekends unlike anything they have seen since.
Celestial Beerworks in the Medical District estimates business is up 40% compared to before the ice storm in mid-February. “People are still mostly wearing masks and the energy is great,” said General Manager Madeline Rawicki. “People are so happy to be out again and a lot of it may have to do with the weather we had too. Our terrace was full most days. ”
Downtown hopped too. “This weekend we had the best days since we opened,” said Rebecca Velazquez of La Tarte Tropezienne, the French bakery next to The Joule on Main Street, which opened right at the start of the pandemic.
Lockhart Smokehouse’s Jill Burgus said they weren’t entirely normal, ”but this weekend was leaning towards prepandemic. The past two weekends have been the best since the pandemic. “
Most places are sure that guests will have to wear masks when walking around or ordering drinks from a bar.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
James Smith, owner of FireHouse Gastro Park, a multi-purpose eatery, coffee house and outdoor space in Grand Prairie, said they too had “a record week.”
The AllGood Cafe was buzzing in Deep Ellum. “Yeah, it rocked,” said owner Mike Snider. “But that was to be expected. The first day of spring, great weather, spring break and South by Southwest. ”
Snider also attributes the increase to Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to open bars and remove capacity limits.
“It’s as if everyone thinks everything is back to normal,” said Snider. “We had a lot of regulars here for the music at night and we said it was the first time in a year. Many people feel safer now that they and their friends have been vaccinated. ”
Like any restaurant or bar owner, he’s grateful to see the crowd, but Snider is still cautious.
“Everyone has cabin fever so they’re happy to come out and see their friends and the places they haven’t been in a long time trying to feel normal. I agree, but we don’t want to disappoint our guard. I still urge employees and customers to wear masks until the CDC says otherwise, “he explains.
In the Bishop Arts District, most people put masks on when they moved, especially going to a bar to place an order for drinks. All the servers, workers, and valets wore masks. It’s all a screaming cry from the spring break chaos that overwhelmed Miami Beach this weekend, resulting in more than 1,000 arrests, an 8 p.m. curfew, and even an emergency statement, according to The Associated Press.
As for the state as a whole, in a couple of weeks we’ll know if the 6 p.m. alcohol curfew in beach towns has done anything to stop the spread. KIII TV reported that Port Aransas business owners saw most of the business they had since the pandemic started a year ago, but it was still a depressed show.
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