How Curfews Are Affecting Restaurants in Dallas

A lot has happened this week. With the protests in Dallas, the pandemic and the reopening of the Texan economy continue.

This week, Dallas County saw record spikes in some cases, which was a predicted problem given the activity on Memorial Day. The good news is that hospital admissions and intensive care bed occupancy have stayed relatively flat. So the drive to get the economy back to normal continues. On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott announced the latest guidelines for reopening the Texan economy, including: All companies that are currently 25 percent active, such as: B. Bars, can upgrade to 50 percent capacity, but customers have to sit down.

Restaurants can now host parties for up to 10 people. From June 12th, restaurants will be able to increase the occupancy rate of their indoor spaces to 75 percent.

As those particular restrictions relax, another has impacted companies that were already tense during the pandemic: an extended curfew. The curfew will require travel and traffic to close by 7pm, which means dinner will end much earlier to allow time for cleaning and closure. It takes a drastic blow to restaurants by eliminating dinner.

In Deep Ellum, George Itoh, owner of the Ichigoh Ramen Lounge, says his customer flow has been reduced to a trickle at lunchtime.

“We have a great success,” he says. Business was finally getting better, he says, and the guests ventured out. But the curfew put out dinner – both eat-in and take-out. And while the period wasn’t nearly as long as the first pandemic-related degree, “It hurt us even more because we were already weakened,” says Itoh.

He recalls that during the week he had the same feeling when he worked and lived in New York after 9/11 – the same impression as if he were entering a zone where everything had changed in an instant. Nearby, not far from a block where Deep Ellum’s boutiques were destroyed, Diane Fourton of Pecan Lodge says the curfew was “a devastating blow” to her grill business, which has extended hours and delivery apps had just gotten back on her feet. “[It] The modest strides we made in response to COVID-19 have essentially been eliminated, ”she says.

At the Dallas Farmers Market, Caribbean Cabana employee Ronelle Plaza says, “We’re closed at 5pm due to COVID-19.” Then, on Sunday, tenants were asked to close and vacate The Shed at noon. “They told us we had 30 minutes,” says Plaza of the hasty evacuation. “It was a shock.” Now the shop closed earlier.

“I’m more interested in the protesters than a black woman,” says Plaza. “But at the same time, I think we should be able to tell the difference,” she says, lamenting the impact of the recent demonstrations on black-owned companies that turned violent and led the police chief and mayor to put in place a curfew. It’s not clear when it will expire. “Because there are some business owners who want to look like me and be in peace, knowing their business won’t be ransacked,” she says.

KaTip’s neighbor restaurateur George Kaiho, who serves casual Thai food, took a day off and closed completely when the Dallas Farmers Market closed early. His business, he says, is “a lot to lose”, no longer borne by the take-out, which normally lasts until 9 pm

“The equality, I’m all for it,” he says. Friends of his took part in the peaceful protests. But he laments the effects of the violent exposure. “It could have been 100 percent peaceful from start to finish. But it didn’t turn out that way. “

He regrets the restaurants that are about to reopen, is reducing staff or increasing occupancy.

Tei-An, the Japanese soba house in the Arts District, was about to reopen with an elegant and meticulous dinner – with only two table rotations per night and thorough cleaning between the two, as well as measures such as temperature cameras. They had flown in provisions for an opening on Tuesday – including fish from Japan for their coveted sashimi – but when the curfew was announced, the team switched to lunch and held a lunch service all week to use the product. According to General Manager Best Ranglek, they hope to open for dinner next week, but he appeals to the feeling of being exposed to external forces. “It is what it is,” he says. “We understand. Nobody is crazy.” The following applies to the future: “The decision is not entirely up to us. We have to wait and see many things. “It’s a limbo.

Meanwhile, Matt McCallister’s Homewood is on Oak Lawn Avenue between two curfews and is in such limbo: on the boundaries of zones little more than a block away on either side and on intermittent and sporadic duty. On Sunday the restaurant honored its 11 covers and then closed early and service hours fluctuated.

“I support all peaceful protests,” says McCallister. Only when “things escalate” does the fallout occur. But like many others, he takes the bigger view: “The reality we are in right now takes precedence. And it’s important. “

The ones who can hope the lunch service will be picked up. Others are patiently waiting for the order to be lifted so they can figure out how to face the difficult reality of operating a place of common gathering in the time of COVID-19. After all, the pandemic is not going away.

Comments are closed.