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RodeoHouston Will Try to Make a Comeback in May 2021

Plus, Craft Burger heads to Katy and more Houston dining intel

Old Cowboy Boot At Rodeo In Houston, Texas, 2007. Getty Images

Welcome to AM Intel in the time of coronavirus, a round-up of the city’s newest bits of restaurant-related intel. Follow Eater on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date details on how COVID-19 is impacting the city’s dining scene.

RodeoHouston announces return for May 2021

RodeoHouston, one of the first major Houston events cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic hit Texas, has announced a somewhat belated comeback for May 2021. The Rodeo, which usually takes place in March, announced the 2021 dates yesterday, saying the event would run from May 4-23, with the caveat that the ongoing pandemic might lead to more delays.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo pushed back on the announcement, which was approved by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Dr. David Persse, the city’s chief medical officer, according to the Houston Chronicle. “We still do not know if hosting a mass gathering like the rodeo in May will be feasible, safe or advisable, and it may well not be,” Hidalgo said. City and county officials have faced criticism for allowing the 2020 Rodeo to proceed even as the first cases in Houston began to appear. At least 18 people who attended the Rodeo cookoff in late February of 2020 were among the first infected in the Houston area.

Shoot the Moon offers free pizza for life to investors

Shoot the Moon, the eagerly-anticipated Spring Branch restaurant that promises a massive wall of serve-yourself beer and wine taps, is offering free pizza for life to investors who pledge $1,000 or more now through the end of the year, according to CultureMap. The restaurant, which also has a NextSeed fundraiser, is continuing to raise capitol for its first location even as plans are in the works for a second outpost in Oak Forest. The restaurant is the brainchild of Kevin Floyd, a former partner in Anvil and Underbelly, and chef Dax McAnear, formerly of Beaver’s and Hay Merchant.

Anti-maskers are bullying HEB out of enforcing state safety guidelines

Anti-masking zealots at Houston-area HEB stores have engaged in a harassment campaign so vitriolic that it has caused the stores to stop enforcing state safety guidelines, according to a new report from Vice. An email shared with Vice, written by a Houston-area store manager, says that many customers who do not want to wear masks inside the stores have become verbally, and even physically, abusive, to the point of threatening the safety of HEB employees.

“I have been personally told by customers that HEB does not honor the rights they fought for in the war, told they have medical concerns with masks, and I was violating their rights and HIPAA laws,” the email reads. “When it comes to making them leave, due to the way many have reacted, we have stopped doing so. Our safety is priority, we do not want our leaders at risk for the abuse we have all taken the last several months.”

HEB was praised early on for its reaction to the pandemic, including enacting safety requirements even before state and local governments did. Masks are still legally required in most public places in the State of Taxes.

Craft Burger sets sight on first stand-alone location in Katy

Craft Burger, the Finn Hall restaurant founded by 2016 Chopped winner Shannen Tune, has a stand-alone location in the works, according to a post on the blog Solcieti. Tune told the website that due to Covid-19, business at the Downtown food hall has declined, which made him want to open his own spot. The restaurant, which offers gourmet burgers, beer-battered onion rings, hand-cut fries and shakes, is expected to open at 21945 Katy Freeway by the end of the year.