Houston-area restaurants prepare to reopen Friday – KPRC Click2Houston

Restaurant News

RICHMOND – Steve Onstad, the owner of the Swinging Door BBQ restaurant in Richmond, is looking forward to reopening Friday.

“You know, we’re just paying attention and trying to follow all the rules and protocols and see where this takes us,” Onstad said.

After weeks of dine-in services halted due to stay-at-home orders, Phase 1 of Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to re-open the state will get underway with stipulations for restaurants. The order states restaurants may only operate 25% capacity for dine-in services and must maintain social distancing practices.

”Wipe, clean, sanitize. That’s what we do,” said Onstad. “We always practice that in the restaurant business, but we’re doing it on steroids now if you will.”

Matt Brice, the owner of Federal American Grill in Hedwig Village, is also taking extra precautions.

With safety measures posted at the entrance, Brice is also making sure tables are 6 feet apart, no parties are larger than 6 people, and workers are sanitizing every seat when customers leave, among other things.

”When you walk in here, you’ll see the gloves and the masks,” he said. “You see that the bathroom attendant is there. You see that we’re using the paper menus.”

The restaurant actually opened for dine-in last week defying county and state orders. However, Brice said, with several measures in place, he is confident he can operate safely.

“I’m asking everybody how do you feel, and they’re like wow you’re going over the top because we are distanced,” said Brice.

While it won’t be business as usual just yet, business owners are just glad to be getting back to some sense of normalcy.

”I’m looking out for my staff myself and for my customers. Because if they get sick, I don’t have a business either,” said Onstad.

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