As Restaurants Close in Collin County, Frisco's Remain Open

Restaurants and bars are closing across Collin County, except in Frisco

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There is a disconnect among some North Texas cities when it comes to closures.

In Collin County, three cities have or will shut down bars and restaurants: Plano, Allen and McKinney.

But in Frisco, where the first coronavirus case in North Texas was confirmed, there are no restrictions on bars and restaurants at all.

In a statement Wednesday, Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney announced, “Frisco City Council is not taking action to close restaurants, bars or any other businesses, for that matter.”

The move came around the same day Frisco ISD announced schools will remain closed until April 3.

It also came at the time as restaurants in Plano – a few miles away – were closing down because of an order approved by city councilmembers Tuesday night.

At the Shops at Legacy and Legacy West, signs were posted on front doors notifying customers stores were closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It's like a ghost town,” said Daniel Rojas, Director of Operations for Harder Concepts Restaurants. The company owns several restaurants in Collin and Dallas Counties.

“Your bartenders are like your best friend when you can just pour out your emotions to them and tell them everything you want and they're there to listen so yea, it’s eerie quiet,” Rojas said sitting at a table in the dining room.

The bar still offers take-out and delivery.

But many others are closed altogether.

Nathan and Katy Willingham came to the area for a staycation.

“It worked out almost perfectly.” Nathan said. “We're going to get an Uber to a city where they're still open hopefully.”

They won’t have to go far since Frisco restaurants remain open.

In a statement, Mayor Cheney said in part, “Our medical expert, Dr. Mark Gamber, agrees restaurants pose no greater risk than a gaming store, grocery store or other retail locations. We’re choosing to take a tempered approach.

"While many are looking to government entities for all the answers, we must take personal responsibility to help solve this issue. This includes individuals taking extreme precautions by self-isolating if sick, washing hands and surfaces, and practicing social distancing. It also calls on private business to take these same measures and create an environment where people can feel safe. In fact, some businesses are already offering special shopping hours for seniors, only."

Some restaurants at The Star have already shut down.

Jack and Dena Brown brought fast food for an impromptu picnic thinking restaurants were all closed.

“I think they probably should. I think it’s just the way of the world right now,” Dena Brown said.

“If he's going to leave the restaurants open then I'd certainly want to go inside the restaurant and make sure that these guys get a paycheck,” Jack Brown said.

It’s a dilemma restaurants a few miles away face as some close doors indefinitely.

“We're going to bounce back,” Rojas said. “And then when they do we're going to be stronger.”

Restaurants are being asked to consider enhancing take out operations.

Mayor Cheney also suggests restaurants separate table or seat diners at every other table to create separation and to remove salt and pepper and condiment bottles from the table until diners are seated

Collin County health officials say there have been 13 cases of COVID-19 in the county as of Thursday morning.

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