North Texas Restaurants Navigate How to Operate Amid Loosening Restrictions

Gov. Greg Abbott cleared the way for North Texas restaurants to open back up at 25-percent of capacity on Friday

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Gov. Greg Abbott cleared the way for North Texas restaurants to open back up Friday at 25% capacity on Friday. But how many actually will, remains to be seen.

“I’m not being a negative Nancy when I say that 25% doesn’t work,” Brooks Anderson, co-owner of Dallas restaurant Boulevardier said.

Gov. Greg Abbott joined NBC 5 to answer questions about what’s next for the state during the coronavirus pandemic. Julie Fine asks Gov. Abbott why he thinks it’s safe to re-open some businesses on Friday, April 28, 2020.

Anderson said it made neither financial sense to open at 25% capacity nor sense when it comes to health and safety.

“Until people are confident they are not surrounded by COVID positive people, I don’t think you are going to see people coming back out,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he believed it would take widely available testing for people to feel fully comfortable going out again, and for restaurants like his to feel secure taking the financial risk to reopen.

“I don’t want to sound negative, we want to reopen,” Anderson said. “You get us testing and this economy will roar back to life.”

In Fort Worth, casual dining restaurant Enchiladas Ole said it planned to reopen Friday with an adjusted layout and new employee guidelines.

“We have PPE equipment that all the employees are going to wear, we have spaced and distanced the tables,” co-owner Derrek Drury said.

Drury said the decision to reopen was not one they took lightly, but after consideration, they believed it was the prudent thing to do.

“We wanted to take care and have concern for our customers, but we also felt like we wanted contribute and provide jobs for our employees,” Drury said.

On Tuesday, the Texas Restaurant Association sent out a survey to restaurants statewide to see how many planned to reopen under the guidelines. Preliminary results are expected back Tuesday evening.

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