A North Texas restaurant will shut its doors for the weekend to host a prom for seniors who had theirs canceled by COVID-19.
La Bistro Italian Grill in Hurst is rolling out the red carpet Saturday and Sunday for a very special celebration for the class of 2020.
To shut down a popular restaurant on a weekend, especially right now, is a big deal. It's one way restaurant manager Jason Benouared is making a powerful show of support by making the long-standing tradition of prom a reality for graduates. He and his wife dusted off their wedding reception decorations used at the very same restaurant, and have already started putting them back up for the big prom weekend.
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La Bistro Italian Grill has been in Benouared's family for nearly three decades. Wednesday, the restaurant itself celebrated its 36th birthday and Benouared says he and his family wouldn't want to celebrate it any other way.
It has become a tradition for them to give back to their community.
"I mean one year, I closed completely down and we served everyone in house for free, you just came in, you ate, you left. We donated to first responders, we've donated to hospitals, we always do something, and this year, we said, you know, we'll just close the restaurant and have a prom. As long as I can just cover the staff and food and things like that, I mean we'll close it down," said Benouared. "This is going to be a real prom, this is not going to be just come inside and have dinner, I mean we have a photographer, we have a DJ, we have a dancefloor, I mean we even have an outdoor patio with a fire pit, I mean whole nine yards."
"It's really special and it's kind of our last experience that we get to have with our class so the people who are going are really thankful and I definitely wanted to thank Jason for that, and I think it's really awesome," said Keller High School graduate, MacKenzie LeBlanc. "My friends are coming over, I'm doing my friends makeup, we altered all of our dresses together and stuff, and we're doing pictures. It's just going to be a normal experience which we haven't really gotten to have since COVID."
High school graduates have been invited from all across the Hurst, Euless, Bedford area. Of course, Jason says social distancing rules will be in place during this special weekend.