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These Houston Restaurants Will Continue Mask Requirements, Capacity Limits

The decisions follow Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order lifting the statewide mask mandate and business capacity limits

A printed sign on a business door that reads “Masks are required. Thank you.” A blue face mask sits underneath the text. Shutterstock

On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that restaurants and other businesses across the state could open their doors at 100 percent capacity after more than a year of restrictions, along with an end to the state’s mask mandate. Despite this newfound freedom, though, a number of Houston restaurants plan to keep the safety measures they’ve implemented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in place.

In a statement that followed the governor’s announcement on Tuesday, Goodnight Hospitality, the restaurant group behind spots like Rosie Cannonball and Montrose Cheese and Wine, criticized Abbott’s decision. “While we are hopeful for the future and extremely grateful to still be operating and are elated to see some of our dear friends and family have the opportunity to be vaccinated, we feel strongly that it is not our time to loosen any protocols for everyone’s safety,” the statement reads in part. “That time will come when everyone has the equal ability to easily find a vaccine.”

As such, Goodnight Hospitality will continue operating at 50 percent of its normally allowed capacity, and will require its staff and patrons wear masks while not actively dining. The restaurants will also continue to check staffers temperatures before they’re allowed to work, and “maintain monthly COVID-19 testing for our entire team.”

Goodnight Hospitality isn’t the only Houston restaurant that’s planning to continue masking requirements, either. Houston brewery and restaurant Saint Arnold issued a similar statement via email, noting that it will continue an extensive list of safety protocols, ranging from mask-wearing to digital menus and hand sanitizing stations.

“While the state mask mandate has been lifted, we are continuing to follow the CDC guidelines and the recommendations of the State of Texas in requiring all of our guests and team members to wear masks at all times except when seated at a table,” the email read in part. “We believe that these protocols are the best way to keep both guests and team members safe. We also hope that by following these steps we as a society will get to a point as quickly as possible where masks and social distancing will no longer be necessary.”

In addition to local restaurateurs, both Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner have criticized Abbott’s decision. “Every time public health measures have been pulled back, we’ve seen a spike in hospitalizations,” Hidalgo said in a statement released on Tuesday. “If we start the climb now, we’d be starting from the highest starting point ever when it comes to our hospital population, an unacceptable and dangerous proposition.”

In the coming days, Eater will continue to collect details on local restaurants that have announced plans to keep mask-wearing requirements and other safety protocols in place after Abbott’s order is lifted on Wednesday.

Scope out that list below:

Bellaire

  • Dandelion Cafe — Will require mask-wearing and continue social distancing requirements.
  • Pho Binh By Night — Will continue to require masks.
  • Shri Balaji Bhavan — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.

Cinco Ranch

  • Tobiuo Sushi — Will continue to operate at 50 percent capacity and require staff and patrons to wear masks.

Downtown

  • Bravery Chef Hall — Will continue to require masks.
  • Flying Saucer — Will require social distancing and masks.
  • La Fisheria — Staff will be required to wear masks and social distancing will continue. Customers are asked to wear masks when not seated.
  • The Nash — Will continue to require masks.

EaDo

  • 8th Wonder Brewing — Will continue to require masks and enforce social distancing guidelines.
  • Cafe TH — Operating at 25 percent capacity, will continue to require masks.
  • Celadon Coffee — Operating at 25 percent capacity, will continue to require masks.
  • Indianola — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Nancy’s Hustle – Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require patrons to wear masks unless seated at the table.
  • Neil’s Bahr — Will continue to require masks for entry “until further notice.”
  • Rodeo Goat — Will require social distancing and masks.
  • Roots Wine Bar — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.

East End

  • Street to Kitchen Thai — Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require staff and patrons to wear masks.

Galleria

  • Christie’s Seafood — Will continue to operate at 50 percent capacity and require masks.
  • Hidden Omakase — Will continue to observe COVID-19 safety protocols and require masks.
  • Kenny & Ziggy’s — Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require patrons and staff to wear masks.
  • Vietnam Coast — Will continue to require masks for customers who are not seated.

Garden Oaks/Oak Forest

  • Becca Cakes — Will still be requiring face masks and social distancing inside the bakery

Heights

  • Alice Blue — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Antidote Coffee — Masks required.
  • Coltivare — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Dolce Neve — Will continue to require patrons and staff to wear masks.
  • Eight Row Flint — Masks required, will continue to operate at limited capacity.
  • Fluff Bake Bar — Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require masks.
  • Flying Fish — Will require social distancing and masks.
  • Golden Bagels & Coffee — Will continue to require patrons and staff to wear masks; outdoor dining only.
  • Melange Creperie — Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Red Dessert Dive — Will continue to require masks indoors, along with COVID-19 sanitation protocols.
  • Revival Market — Masks required, will continue to operate at limited capacity.
  • Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe — Will still require masks for customers and employees.

Medical Center/West University/Rice Village

  • Coppa Osteria — Will be maintaining mask protocols and continuing to operate at limited capacity.
  • El Topo — Will continue to require masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Flower & Cream — Will continue to operate at 50 percent capacity and require patrons and staff to wear masks.
  • Goode Company — All Goode Co restaurants will mainatain current safety precaustions, including masks for patrons and staff
  • Helen Greek Food and Wine — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Under the Volcano — Operating at 25 percent capacity, will continue to require masks.

Midtown

  • Axelrad — Will continue to require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Mai’s — Will continue to require masks.
  • Red Dwarf — Will continue to require masks for staff and patrons.

Montrose

  • 93 Til — Will continue to require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Ambrosia — Staff and customers must wear masks, capacity will remain at 50%, and the restaurant will continue to follow CDC guidelines.
  • Anvil Bar and Refuge, Squable, Better Luck Tomorrow, Tongue Cut Sparrow — Will continue to require masks.
  • Backstreet Cafe — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Blacksmith Coffee — Will continue to require masks.
  • Bludorn — Employees are required to wear masks and guests will be encouraged to wear masks.
  • Camerata — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Caracol — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Divino — Will continue to require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Eighteen38 — Eighteen36 will continue to enforce its mask policy, allowing customers to remove their masks only at their table for eating and drinking purposes.
  • Georgia James — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • The Hay Merchant — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Hugo’s — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Montrose Cheese and Wine — Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Nobie’s — Will require masks until staff is fully vaccinated.
  • One Fifth — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Present Company — Will continue to require mask-wearing and social distancing.
  • Paulie’s — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Ramen Tatsu-Ya — Masks required, still takeout and delivery only.
  • Riel — Will require staff and patrons to wear masks when entering the restaurant.
  • Roost — Will operate at 75 percent capacity and require masks indoors.
  • Rosie Cannonball — Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • The Toasted Coconut — Will require masks until staff is fully vaccinated.
  • Traveler’s Table — Will continue to require masks.
  • Tres Tacos — Will continue to require masks.
  • UB Preserv — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Uchi — Will continue to require masks and observe social distancing guidelines.
  • Xochi — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.

Museum District

  • Grand Prize Bar — Will continue operating at limited capacity and require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Lucille’s — Will continue to require masks and operate at limited capacity.

Northside

  • Saint Arnold Brewing Company — Will continue its COVID-19 protocols, including mask requirements.

River Oaks

  • a’Bouzy — Will continue to require masks for customers who are not seated.
  • Brasserie 19 — Will be maintaining mask protocols and continuing to operate at limited capacity.
  • Giacomo’s — Will continue to require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Kata Robata — Masks will be required for all guests when they are not seated at their tables.
  • McGonigel’s Mucky Duck — Will continue to require masks and follow CDC COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Ouisie’s Table — Will operate at 75 percent capacity and require patrons and staff to wear masks.
  • Pondicheri — Will continue to require patrons and staff to wear masks and distance tables six feet apart.
  • Red Lion Pub — Will continue to require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Roka Akor — Will continue to require staff and patrons to wear masks.

Third Ward

  • Sparkles Hamburger Spot — Will continue to require masks.

Washington Corridor

  • NettBar — Will continue to require masks and observe social distancing guidelines.
  • Sticky’s Chicken — Noting the new COVID-19 variants that have emerged, Sticky’s Chicken co-owner Patsy Vivares says that the restaurant “will continue to practice COVID precautions.”
  • Urban South Brewery — Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require patrons and staff to wear masks.
  • Xin Chao — Will continue to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocol and require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Yellow Cup Coffee — Still requiring masks for employees and customers.

Multiple Locations

  • Common Bond — All Common Bond restaurants will continue to operate at limited capacity and require staff and patrons to wear masks.
  • Feges BBQ — Will continue all COVID-19 safety protocols
  • Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen — Both locations will require patrons and staff to wear masks and operate at limited capacity.
  • Tumble 22 — All locations will still require masks.
  • The Union Kitchen — Will continue to operate at limited capacity and require masks at all locations.

Notice a Houston restaurant that’s still requiring masks and missing from this list? Drop us a line at houston@eater.com.

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