What Has Reopening in Dallas Looked Like So Far?

Texas has slowly reopened its economy since early May, including many restaurants and bars that closed in March. The bars had been closed for nine weeks – that’s 63 days without going to a bar and waving to a bartender for a cold drink. There is also enough time for us to think about how we would approach drinking – how we should do it responsibly, or in some cases less. And so, after a short break, the mostly weekly News Bites from SideDish have returned.

We recorded scenes of reopened bars with partial occupancy across the city on the first weekend. In Deep Ellum, places like Bottled Blonde seemed to disregard the 25 percent occupancy order. At the other end of the warning spectrum, Lee Harveys locked his interior in the cedar trees so guests could only sit outside. Some bars with outdoor areas – as well as restaurants that were allowed to reopen 50 percent last weekend – may be better suited to cater to guests with limited capacity.

Still, four north Texas health experts told the Dallas Morning News that they weren’t going to eat in a restaurant yet, even though eating outside would be safer with proper precautions such as masking and social distancing. Bars, on the other hand, represent scenarios in which it could be more difficult to maintain social distance. (On Bars, an expert told DMN, “It’s like a tough no.”)

Many food and beverage companies like Double Wide, Las Almas Rotas, and BrainDead Brewing, to name a few, stick only with takeaway and delivery. Speaking of breweries, taprooms are preparing to return. Vector Brewing, which was scheduled to debut in March before the coronavirus, announces that it will officially open on June 1st. Peticolas Brewing Company and Four Corners Brewing also flirted with the June comeback.

There is no easy answer. Look, I love beer. And I love cocktails. (See, we have this handy guide to drinking the goodies at home.) But I don’t love exchanging germs with tipsy strangers who aren’t diligently watching their six-foot-wide bladder. A spacious outdoor bar? Could be.

Restaurant closings near Dallas
Dakota’s Steakhouse, a 36-year-old restaurant that housed many talented chefs during his tenure, has closed, according to the Dallas Culturemap. Teresa Gubbins writes a historic eulogy. Speaking of which, former D Magazine editorial intern Trace Miller wrote an ode to the diner institution Highland Park Cafeteria. Jake’s burgers on Henderson Avenue are closed (others still seem to be opening and running). In case you missed it: Wolfgang Pucks Reunion Tower Restaurant Five Sixty is permanently closed.

Shug’s bagels are coming soon
In happier news, Dallas is nearing reaching some legitimate New York bagels thanks to SMU grad (and NY native) Justin Shugrue. Shugrue rigorously tested and baked bagels as he prepared to open his bagel shop in University Park in the coming weeks. Central Track first reported the news in early March. But stay tuned on SideDish as we cover how the hell a bagel shop opens amid a pandemic.

The salty donut is preparing to open at Bishop Arts
Everyone is raving about a donut shop coming to the Bishop Arts District next Tuesday, June 2nd. The Miami Salty Donut’s opening in Miami marks the store’s first location outside of its Florida hometown. At the moment the Salty is only open for delivery and collection. What can you pick up, you ask? Donuts from a simple brioche with a vanilla bean icing to a sweet bourbon brioche with a tea icing to a horchata-soaked brioche with Valrhona chocolate and cinnamon meringue. Our own Eve Hill-Agnus has the details.

Mall food courts can come back now
As of May 26, Governor Greg Abbott approved the reopening of dining areas in shopping malls. A statement from Abbott’s office said: “… shopping centers are encouraged to designate one or more individuals responsible for following health and safety practices, including: Limiting tables to six people; Keeping people seated at different tables within six feet of each other; Cleaning and disinfecting tables between uses; and ensure that no spices or other items are left on the tables between customer uses. “This is similar to the guidelines for restaurants that reopened at 25 percent capacity.

Blue apron stick booms
Things looked pretty bleak for the New York-based meal set company. In February, CNBC reported that Blue Apron’s shares had been declining for years and the company closed its Arlington facility, laying off around 240 employees. When the coronavirus forced people to cook more at home, the company’s prospects improved: inventory quadrupled with over 200,000 new customers, and profits skyrocketed. No word yet on whether the renewed success means the Blue Apron facility in Arlington will return.

Don’t miss this on SideDish

In case you missed it, we were the first to report that the City of Dallas has launched a temporary parklet program. (Dallas Culturemap thinks they are “Twee,” but I just think they are smart about an abundance of parking spaces in an urban setting where outdoor spaces seem much safer these days.)

If you have a lot of take-out meals, some fresh juice with immunity-boosting nutrients may be appropriate. We only have the guide for you.

Rapper Post Malone steps up with the release of Maison No. 9, its rosé, which will be launched this summer, joins the roster of wine-supported wine labels.

Microgreens farm Profound Foods, whose product was often sold directly in restaurants, has launched a spin-off concept: Profound Kitchens. The new project, led by Dallas boss Nick Walker, will create local food sets.

Restaurant critic Eve Hill-Agnus visited Nick Badovinus’ newest restaurant, Desert Racer, in Lowest Greenville. Then a pandemic occurred. She wrote a restaurant review that balances criticism with the stark reality of the restaurant world. Badovinus recently announced that he is bringing back Desert Racer as Vantina, a pop-up on the restaurant’s spacious back patio. Town Hearth and Neighborhood Services also resumed last night, and Montlake Cut will return next week.

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