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.
BCN Taste & Tradition and MAD receive PPP funding
After shutting down in March, the Houston Business Journal reports that BCN Taste & Tradition in Montrose and MAD in the River Oaks District are back in business for takeout after receiving Paycheck Protection Program funding. Almost all 112 furloughed employees will return (seven will not), and the restaurants are sharing one joint menu for delivery or pickup. Pick up gin tonic kits, sponge cakes with caramelized custards, Spanish noodles with crispy Iberico pig and sautéed peppers, and more: check out the menu here.
A self-serve wine bar is slated to open this summer
New food-focused wine bar Roots is planning on a summer opening in East End, according to CultureMap Houston, and customers will be able to walk up to a high-tech self-serve wine wall and serve themselves pours from 50 different bottles. “We’re able to offer by-the-glass options that aren’t available elsewhere, because the preservation system allows for more longevity with each bottle of wine,” co-owner Lori Hernandez told the publication.
Houston restaurateurs vent about PPP
Houston Business Journal spoke to local restaurant industry vets like H-Town Restaurant Group owner Tracy Vaught and Underbelly Hospitality owner Chris Shepherd about their frustrations the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program to help aid small businesses. PPP is a loan that can be converted to a grant, provided a few requirements are met, and some might be a tough hurdle for restaurants — like rehiring furloughed employees by a June 30 deadline. ““We can’t staff up properly by June 30 and take advantage of the forgiveness, and then we’re settled with a debt on top of losing money. (It’s) very stressful,” Vaught told HBJ.