UPDATE: The city of Houston has ordered all bars and restaurant dining rooms to close for the next 15 days. Restaurants will still be allowed to fulfill takeout and delivery orders, but dine-in service is out for now.
As officials across the country shutter restaurants temporarily, some Houston restaurants are taking preemptive measures and closing their doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Restaurateur Bobby Heugel announced in an Instagram post that his group will close Anvil Bar & Refuge “until further notice.” “It’s the right thing to do. Balancing out how to care for our staff and care for the world is a difficult challenge for everyone in this industry, but search your heart and make the choice you’ll be proud of when this is all over,” Heugel wrote. “It’s different for everyone.”
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We have made the very tough decision to temporarily close our places until further notice. It’s the right thing to do. Balancing out how to care for our staff and care for the world is a difficult challenge for everyone in this industry, but search your heart and make the choice you’ll be proud of when this is all over. It’s different for everyone. We will be switching to a to-go model soon at @squabletime @bltomorrow @pennyquarter - more details to come. Please support us as much as you can, especially if you’re someone that texts me regularly about reservations or asks for donations. Everyone in this industry gives so much, and frankly, we need our communities to support restaurants and bars now more than ever. Our staff has been incredible this week. They’ve overcome so many obstacles and done it all with beaming smiles and an unwavering commitment to me and each other. It took everything in me to not cry when I told a small group of them about our decision, but I couldn’t let them see I’m really a big softy inside. I know we will be back soon, and we will be stronger than ever! Thank you everyone for your support over the years. I don’t have a lot of time to talk about this because we need to be focused on taking care of our staff in every possible way right now, so please don’t be offended if I can’t get back to you right away if you reach out.
Heugel’s other establishments, including Squable and Better Luck Tomorrow in the Heights and Montrose cafe Penny Quarter, will also close, though plans are in the works for these spots to offer to-go food in the coming days. MKT Bar in Downtown Houston will also close its doors until April 1, at which point its owners will “reassess operations.”
Restaurants and bars across the city are making the tough choice to reduce hours or close entirely as new guidance from the White House indicates that people should avoid dining-in at these establishments. On Monday, Bravery Chef Hall announced that it would shift to to-go dining only, as did Sticky’s Chicken in Sawyer Yards.
Eater will be updating this post in the coming hours with more details on restaurant and bar closures.