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.
Bar 5015 opens after massive explosion deemed arson
Bar 5015, the popular Almeda brunch spot that was partially damaged in an explosion in June, has reopened, ABC 13 reports. The early morning explosion on June 12 damaged nearby homes and businesses, as well as destroying most of the patio of the restaurant, which had recently reopened following Texas’s economic shutdown to control the spread of coronavirus. Just a few days later, fire officials released video showing at least four suspects pouring an accelerant on the patio. Those suspects have not yet been identified.
Saint Arnold Brewery forced to close, announce layoffs due to change in TABC rules
Saint Arnold, Houston’s oldest craft brewery, has had to close its doors to the public after a change in TABC rules concluded that the massive brewery and restaurant was actually a bar. The closure has resulted in the laying off of 75 brewery employees.
Under the new rules, breweries that serve food must count their alcohol sales to distributors in addition to the public when determining whether those alcohol sales meet the 51% threshold that distinguishes bars from restaurants. Under Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s rollback of his Open Texas plan, restaurants can stay open at 50% capacity, but bars must close to the public. The brewery is still able to sell beer and food to go.
Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner has called on Texas beer lovers to contact the Governor’s office and ask for the rules to be changed back. “Counting the beer we sell to distributors as if it were being sold in the restaurant defies common sense,” Wagner said in an emailed statement. “We are calling on the governor to make this easy fix so we can retain the 75 coworkers whose positions will otherwise be eliminated.”
King Biergarten reopens after Covid-19 closure, remodeling
Pearland beerhall King’s Biergarten reopened on July 14 after being closed for four months due to the coronavirus shutdown, Houston Business Journal reports. The restaurant first opened in 2011, and its owners used the closure to renovate the building and revamp the menu, according to a press release. Updates include a brand new bar with 36 beer taps, plus the addition of several new wiener schnitzel flavors, including Tex-Mex, Cajun, barbecue, and pizza.