The Blue Bonnet Cafe is flipping its sign back to “open” beginning April 24 for takeout orders.
On April 2, the iconic Marble Falls restaurant announced it was temporarily closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Starting this week, it will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for to-go orders.
“We’re restless,” co-owner Lindsay Plante said. “We need to start generating funds, and our employees want to work. They’re ready. We want to slowly open things up and want to slowly test waters.”
Diners can buy food by the plate or order new family-style options, which feed four and include a main dish, rolls, and three quart-size sides. The take-out menu is available online.
Of course, the cafe will serve its popular pies — and that has people excited.
“We have six sheets of (pie) orders right now,” Plante said. “Tell us what day, what time you want to pick it up, which pie, and your phone number. We’ll put it on a reservation. We’re trying to do pre-orders.”
Right now, Blue Bonnet is only selling whole pies, no slices.
The cafe’s parking lot is sectioned off with balloons for those:
- placing an in-person order from disposable menus
- picking up meals ordered in advance
- picking up pie orders
Staff will direct people where to go. Customers should enter off Avenue G to the east of the restaurant so as not to impede U.S. 281 traffic.
To ensure social distancing is maintained, staff will use mobile card readers curbside, though Plante is advising diners to bring cash or checks to ensure transactions aren’t completely dependent on technology.
“These wireless readers are a whole new world for us,” she said.
In March, after Governor Greg Abbott ordered restaurants statewide to close dining rooms and only offer takeout to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, Blue Bonnet Cafe staff noticed most of its to-go orders were coming from out-of-towners.
“It was very apparent they weren’t local, and we were encouraging people to come out when everyone else is staying home,” Plante said. “We thought, ‘Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this.’ We were concerned about our employees’ safety.”
Due to concerns over people bringing the virus into Marble Falls from other places, the restaurant closed — until now.
The Blue Bonnet Cafe has 74 employees receiving benefits and gives to area nonprofits and charities, Plante said, which illustrates what the establishment means to the Highland Lakes and those who work there.
“When you start working again and have a place to be, mentally, that helps you,” she added. “It’s a balancing act of not doing it too quickly; this whole thing is balancing a tight, tight rope and finding the balance of safety and helping. There’s the community aspect of coming in and seeing your favorite waitress. All those things are tied up in this restaurant. You want to get back to that normality in a safe way.”