Update: November 29, 9:30 a.m.: The water boil notice was lifted Tuesday morning.
The City of Houston is under a boil water notice, as of the evening of Sunday, November 27, which is resulting in a shift in how some local restaurants do business.
While many food establishments are closed on Mondays, some bars and restaurants that are normally open will close for business, including Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen on Post Oak Boulevard, Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina, Goode Co. Fish Camp, and James Beard Award-winning cocktail bar Julep.
Others, like Thai restaurant Kin Dee, Le Colonial, Ouisie’s Table Restaurant & Gardens, and Picos, are taking extra precautions to boil water, buy ice from outside companies, serve only bottled or canned beverages, and empty and sanitize their ice machines, according to spokespeople from the restaurants. No tap water will be served or used in any food or beverage preparation at these places. Feges BBQ Greenway Plaza will host a limited menu.
Hardy Yards brewery and restaurant Gristworkz announced via its Instagram account that it would offer clean water to people in need after 9 a.m. on Monday, November 28. (Those seeking water must bring a container, according to the post).
Underbelly Hospitality’s restaurants Georgia James and Underbelly Burger are having 50 gallons of water delivered to their facilities today to use for cooking and drinking water, according to Nina Quincy, Underbelly’s director of operations. Neither restaurant, however, will serve ice, iced tea, or coffee since the machines are connected to the water supply.
“We are fortunate because we don’t use soda fountains and only have canned soda so that won’t be affected. We shut our ice machines down and iced our wells last night. We’ve been through this before so we have gotten pretty good at working around the problem safely,” Quincy said in a written statement.
Houston Public Works, the department responsible for drainage, production, and distribution of water, collection, and treatment of wastewater, reported Sunday in a release and an email blast that the water pressure for the city’s central water system dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required minimum during a power outage at the East Water Purification on Sunday morning. Water pressure was restored after the power outage.
Still, Public Works has thus advised the public to not drink water without bringing it to a roiling boil for at least two minutes and letting it cool before consuming it — this protocol applies to water intended for drinking, washing hands and face, brushing teeth, cleaning vegetables and meats, making ice, or rinsing cleaned dishes. People without power or who are not able to boil water are advised to use bottled water or to obtain water from “suitable source(s)” of drinking water, particularly children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems who can be especially vulnerable to harmful bacteria in water.
The Houston Mayor’s Office said on Twitter that they believed the water is safe but noted they were still required to issue the notice according to protocols and would collect samples of the water on Monday morning November 28 for testing.
The city will issue another notice to the public once the boiling water notice is rescinded.