While Phase 1 of Texas’ plan to restart the economy kicked in May 1, some non-essential businesses given the OK to reopen are taking things slowly.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s new executive order, announced April 27, allows restaurant dining rooms, retail businesses, malls, and movie theaters to reopen with restrictions, including a maximum 25 percent occupancy rate. The governor’s stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus expired April 30.
In Marble Falls, Doc’s Fish Camp & Grill might open its dining room as early as May 8, but manager Joe Stewart said it depends on how long it takes to train staff to meet new sanitary guidelines. In the meantime, the closure has a silver lining.
“It’s given us a tremendous opportunity to remodel, paint, and do the floors. We haven’t been able to do that,” Stewart said. “We have wooden floors that have been here for 25 years. We scrubbed them, put a polyurethane layer on them. Now, they’re all shiny and beautiful.”
Super Taco is also delaying its return to full service. While it will still offer curbside pickup, its doors will be closed to diners for the foreseeable future.
“I’m concerned about my employees, and we have a lot of elders that come in to eat,” owner Ana Mata said. “And, my mom, she has asthma, so we don’t want to risk their health right now. We’re going to take it slow. We’re taking advantage and doing some remodeling on the inside.”
Numinous Coffee Roasters has opened its outdoor seating to guests; however, inside tables remain off limits. Patrons can still go inside to order takeout.
“There’s the side of me that hopes everything is getting better, but I’m also concerned people might be moving too fast,” owner Alex Payson said. “I want things to get back to normal, but I want it to get back to normal in a safe way, so it stays normal. I don’t want to go too quickly, and then we have to go back into lockdown again. It’s trying to balance. It’s like walking a very fine line between too fast and too slow.”
Fiesta Winery is opening its patio to guests, but state guidelines limit it to a maximum 23 people at one time. The winery added tables in the front courtyard to match that capacity, while maintaining social distancing.
“They’ve all been drinking at home. Now, they get to drink in public,” said Patrice Streit, tasting room manager at the Marble Falls location. “We can’t wait until they can actually step in and start doing tastings because we’re not doing any tastings at this point. We’re truly just excited to get back to as close to normal as we can get.”
The Highland Lakes Support Local guide has information about which restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and other services. Details are changing rapidly, so contact the eatery before you go.
For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the Highland Lakes, visit the DailyTrib.com coronavirus resources webpage.