Collin County cities had different and sometimes confusing stay-at-home orders just a few weeks ago.
But the county is now united behind the governor’s executive order that is allowing businesses to open to a limited number of customers if they choose.
“It feels amazing,” said George Moore, general manager of Lockhart Smoke House in Plano’s Downtown Arts District.
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“Everyone’s been in a lull and for us to be able to have people inside our facilities is beautiful. This is the first step to a good direction.”
Customers were seen venturing out to East 15th Street boutiques and restaurants.
“We love seeing downtown Plano being lively again,” said XO Coffee Company barista Maggie Coffey.
“It’s been really nice to see some familiar faces.”
XO Coffee Company and Bistro opened its doors while following state guidelines that limit customers allowed inside depending on its listed capacity.
A sign on its door states ‘Only 4 people inside restaurant at a time. Thank you for your cooperation.’
Darlene Coulanges opted to venture into the coffee shop for breakfast.
“It’s a comfort for the mind as well as the stomach,” she said.
“I just had a really awesome breakfast.”
Lockhart Smoke House is allowing approximately 23 people into their dining hall, along with continuing to-go service.
Plano mayor Harry LaRosiliere says the financial impact of COVID-19 closures is not yet fully known but it is possible the city will see a double-digit reduction in sales tax revenue.
“That means millions of dollars,” said LaRosiliere.
“It’s hard to say we’ll know soon enough.”
The mayor says there’s still no word on how Collin County will distribute and use the $180 million allocated to the county by the federal government.
Across the city, La Chine Chinese Cuisine is prepping for its first dine-in dinner service after suffering their own losses.
“Our business went down 50% at least,” said owner Anson Chan.
Chan says his decision to reopen dine-in service was made after asking its customers.
“It’s 50/50 kind of hit and miss for a lot of people: Oh, I can’t wait. Other people say: I stay away for another week or two see what happens,” he said.
LaRosiliere remains optimistic and asks residents and businesses to make decisions after considering the health and well-being of everyone.
“Hopefully we’re seeing the worse behind us and we can figure out that path to our new normal,” he said.
“We’re going to get to the right place. We don’t know when but as long as we take care of each other we’re going to make it.”
The mayor said enforcement of 25% capacity will essentially come down to each business voluntarily following the rules.