DALLAS - Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday he is putting a pause on any efforts to further reopen the economy. However, some North Texas businesses have already started scaling back.
When bars and restaurants reopened, some sought to do so at their own pace. Now, some are not waiting for additional restrictions. They are closing their dining rooms again.
The past few months have been a whirlwind for Omar Yeefoon. He owns Shoals Sound and Service in Deep Ellum.
“I can’t deal with closing again, it’s not really an option for me,” he said. “So I’d rather scale back and create my own timeline.”
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After completely closing during the pandemic, Shoals recently reopened the dining room for a few days. But now, the bar and restaurant is now doing curbside and takeout only.
“I started looking at the cases increasing, and it was really starting to make me nervous,” Yeefoon said. “I was having a conversation with my staff. To me, it just didn’t seem like it was worth the revenue we were getting being open in the dining room.”
Shoals is hardly the only North Texas business pulling back.
Mia’s Tex Mex in Oak Lawn made the decision Thursday to close its dining room and temporarily go back to curbside and takeout. It had recently reopened in a new location.
Owner Mia Enriquez says the decision was also made because of the outbreak. She says they saw business declining at Mia’s Tex Mex in recent days and customers less comfortable dining in.
“It was just time to step back, stay proactive and think about safety first,” Enriquez said.
Governor Abbott’s announcement about a pause in reopening Thursday didn't make clear whether the state has any plans to move to a previous phase.
“The last thing we want to do as a state is to go backward and close down businesses,” Abbott said. “This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”
Yeefoon understands some restaurants have layouts better suited to follow health guidelines than his and might stay open, but he also wonders why there isn’t a state plan to scale back.
“The idea that we’re going to pause, that doesn’t make sense. Why are we not going back? Why are we not peeling it back a little bit and saying hey that didn’t work? What we were doing before was working. Let’s go back to that,” Yeefoon said. “I’m waiting to see a good 14 days flat and a good seven days down in Dallas County before I can feel comfortable enough to opening my doors.”
Restaurants aren't just closing pre-emptively. Some are choosing to close down after an employee or employees has tested positive for cleaning and re-tool.
The pandemic is continuing to pose a lot of challenges for one of the harder hit industries.