These Dallas restaurants never closed during the snowstorm

While most restaurants in Dallas went dark this week from power outages, broken pipes, and stranded staff, chef and CEO Robert Hall and a small staff at the Statler Hotel in downtown Dallas almost never stopped cooking.

Its Overeasy, Scout and Sfereco restaurants were open non-stop during the winter snowstorm, although Refined Hospitality Concepts’ other restaurants were closed.

“It was heartbreaking, it was exhilarating, it was exhausting,” says Hall, who worked on the counter at Sfereco and hauled trash at Overeasy in the middle of the night.

Server Kaitlyn Gonzales brings food to a customer table at Overeasy in Dallas. The store sold coffee all week – mostly filter coffee instead of the popular lattes – and cooked breakfasts.(Irwin Thompson / employee photographer)

“Leading the team through coronavirus … and making the keystone to this ‘fun festival’ – it’s not an education I’ve ever signed up for, but I’m very humble about the experience,” he says.

In Overeasy, the Statler’s diner, breakfast was the bestseller: bacon, eggs, toast and jam. Lines for pizza were formed around the building in Sfereco.

Hall and his staff had the built-in benefit of being connected to the hotel, which means they had warm, safe rooms for staff to take shelter in. His team was also able to search for food in the Statler’s banquet hall kitchens.

“We just knew that people needed basic catering service,” says Hall. “The biggest challenge was only the supply lines. We didn’t get any deliveries. We absolutely searched the banquet kitchens – and robbed Peter to pay Paul – to bring out a representative menu at each of these brands. “

Hall confirmed what several other restaurant owners had done: staying open helped them keep food spoilage to a minimum. But it wasn’t a big money maker.

“We have been living the same life for a long time,” said Hall of the ongoing decline in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re definitely not recovering financially.”

Their advantage was that Sfereco, a relatively new brand, now has some loyal customers.

“There were many residents of the city center who didn’t know we were there. I loved that, ”he says.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit was able to operate the restaurant on Wycliff Avenue in Dallas continuously while dozen of other Dickey’s restaurants in Texas closed.

Despite freezing temperatures and snow-covered streets, Dickey's Barbecue Pit on Wycliff Avenue in Dallas was one of the few restaurants in the North Texas area to open every day of the storm.  A line formed in the restaurant on February 16, 2021.  Dallas-Fort Worth reached a new record low of minus 2 degrees that morning. Despite freezing temperatures and snow-covered streets, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Wycliff Avenue in Dallas was one of the few restaurants in the North Texas area to open every day of the storm. A line formed in the restaurant on February 16, 2021. Dallas-Fort Worth reached a new record low of minus 2 degrees that morning. (Courtesy Dickey’s Barbecue Pit)

With so few restaurants open near the Medical District, a line of hungry customers formed at the restaurant on Tuesday, February 16, the coldest day in North Texas in 72 years.

Dickey’s has also opened its restaurant in Terminal E at DFW International Airport, and a spokesman said it was the only restaurant open in that terminal during the worst parts of the snow storm.

Dickey’s prides itself on only being closed two days a year: Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“Dickey’s built our legacy on being a staple and servant of the community in good times and bad,” said CEO Laura Rea.

Of the 57 chicken fingers at Raising Cane in Dallas-Fort Worth, seven continued to serve. Many worked under limited working hours and donated food to their local fire brigades, police stations, nursing home workers or thermal protection rooms. During the snowstorm, Canes public relations reached people in Richardson, Frisco, Prosper, Rowlett, Forney, Garland, and Dallas.

Read more about the efforts of restaurateurs in Dallas during the winter storm:

Cooking in the Dark: How Dallas Restaurants Feed Neighbors During Snow Storm 2021

Sherman City officials are reaching out to the local brewery to help with the water crisis

How lobster companies weather cold temperatures in Dallas during COVID-19

Restaurant workers take to the streets delivering groceries in the winter storm

Can we get a do-over? Dallas restaurants are offering Valentine’s Day and Fat Tuesday specials a week late

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter @sblaskovich.

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