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Houston Might Be Shut Down, but Some Local Restaurants Are Braving the Storm to Serve Their Community

Business owners are serving up free meals, handing out hot cocoa, and getting warm coats to those in need

U.S.-TEXAS-HOUSTON-WINTER STORM-POWER OUTAGE Xinhua/Chengyue Lao via Getty Images

While most Houstonians spent this past weekend making frantic plans to safeguard their homes and businesses from the worst winter storm in a generation, a handful of Houston restaurants were looking for ways to give back to their community.

As temps dropped to the teens Monday night, staff from the Turkey Leg Hut headed Downtown to hand out meals. The restaurant closed early on Monday due to icy conditions, but staff members took the Turkey Leg Food Truck to the George R Brown Convention Center to hand out food. The GRB was serving as a warming station for more than 1.5 million Houstonians who were without power for several hours during the storm as the state’s energy grid buckled under unprecedented consumption.

As of February 16, the Turkey Leg Hut restaurant remains closed, but the food truck is still open and slinging hot boiled crawfish, one of the few eateries in the city serving food today.

Earlier in the weekend, at popular beer bar Flying Saucer, management put out a call that it would collect coats to hand out to Downtown’s unhoused population. A manager at the restaurant said they were leaving coats on a table outside with a sign encouraging those who needed one to take one. The Saucer ended up closing early on Saturday night before the storm fully took affect, and was closed on Monday, February 15 as well, but by 4 p.m. Saturday staff had collected and distributed more than 150 donated coats, plus blankets and other items.

Meanwhile at Henderson & Kane, the boutique grocery store near the Washington Corridor, power was out, but the shop was still handing out hot coffee and cocoa and letting neighbors who could walk to the store inside to buy hot food and groceries. Larger grocery stores like HEB and Kroger were reducing their hours, and many were already thoroughly picked over anyway, but as of Monday evening, Henderson & Kane still had wine, snacks and hot food like chili.

On Tuesday morning, the shop was still without power and its phone lines were down, but its owners posted to Instagram that the shop would still open today. “Main goals for today —” the owners wrote in an Instagram story. “Hot coffee for the neighborhood, and hopefully some soup.”

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