With the coronavirus shutting down events and gatherings all around us, the food and beverage world looms as one of the most vulnerable industries. In Fort Worth, restaurants and bars employ thousands of people, many of whom rely on tips or work part-time.
According to a member of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, the state of Texas is looking at restaurant and bar closures, with Dallas and Houston announcing shut-downs of bars and in-restaurant dining effective March 17.
Fort Worth has not called for outright closures but announced restrictions on capacity at restaurants, bars, and other businesses.
A statement from Emily Williams Knight, President & CEO Texas Restaurant Association, says that the organization is hoping to work with the state government to allow restaurants to continue to provide drive-thru, take-out/pick-up, and delivery service.
"This will drive 'no contact' and ensure people have food to eat and in turn provide those employees income to support their own families, Knight's statement says. "More than 50 percent of food consumed by citizens of Texas come from restaurants. With grocery store shelves already bare, where would people go? There are more than 50,000 units in Texas, excellent places to ensure people who are now practicing social distancing can get food to eat."
Their statement points out that restaurants are already heavily regulated by their health departments and are voluntarily doing even more to keep people safe. "With students out of school for 2+ weeks, where will they get their food? Many of these families cannot afford to stock-pile groceries," Knight says.
Meanwhile, the following restaurants have already either enacted closures or made shifts in their operations, from complete dining room shut-downs to a pivot in the way they celebrate St. Patrick's Day:
Angelo's Barbecue is still celebrating its 62nd anniversary on March 17, but with a modern twist: takeout. The barbecue joint opened on St. Patrick’s Day in 1958 by Angelo George and is now owned and operated by his grandson Jason George. As of Monday afternoon, patrons can still plan to visit all day Tuesday for $3 chopped beef sandwiches , available for carry-out as well as dine-in. The chopped beef sandwich special will run all week through Saturday.
Bird Café's St. Patrick's Day celebration is still on, with an option to take the party home. Visit the Sundance Square restaurant March 17 for chef Brian Olenjack’s one-day-only Irish-inspired specials. On the menu: potato leek chowder, house-made corned beef with cabbage, carrots and new potatoes, Guinness beef stew, and for dessert, dark chocolate Guinness cake with Bailey’s cream cheese icing and brioche bread pudding. The specials will be served all day, in addition to the full menu. Carry-out is available for all food.
Michaels Cuisine is offering its St. Patrick's Day special to-go. The longtime West 7th Street staple invites patrons to partake in several Irish-themed menu specials on March 17. Think Irish “nachos” with corned beef and kraut, hot corned beef sandwiches, and Guinness Irish beef stew with Irish soda bread. The menu will be available all day, along with curbside pickup.
Chef Point Bar & Restaurant's Colleyville and Watauga locations both will serve St. Patrick’s Day specials of corned beef and cabbage, and shepherd’s pie on March 17. The menu specials will be available all day, along with curbside pickup.
Cowtown Brewing Company will host a Bayou boil to celebrate crawfish season on March 21, with a to-go option. Get two pounds of mudbugs with traditional sides, including potatoes and corn, along with three beers for $40 per person. Those still hungry can get more for $10 a pound. The special will be available from 3 to 7 pm and carry-out for both the boil and the brew is available.
Heim Barbecue is closing both dining rooms indefinitely starting March 17. They will continue to offer food for pickup at both locations, call-ahead ordering at both locations, online ordering at HeimBBQ.com, and delivery services for orders over $300.
Ellerbe Fine Foods has begun is offering curbside services for food and wine. During business hours, anything can be ordered from the lunch menu during lunch, and dinner menu during dinner. The to-go wine menu may be found on their website, and they're offering 10 percent off 6-pack orders. Starting March 17, they will have family-style and kids menus available, as well. How it works: 1. Visit www.ellerbefinefoods.com/menus for regular dinner/lunch menus. 2. Drive to Ellerbe; food will be ready in 20 minutes. 3. Pull up at the restaurant, and they'll place the order in the car.
Righteous Foods is closing its dining room until March 27 to encourage social distancing. Until then, they will only be providing to-go food and drink via curbside service from 8 am-8 pm daily. Customers can download their app, visit their website, call in an order, or walk up to the bar and they will bring the order to the car. "Stay tuned as we are diligently working on a delivery plan and our catering services are available for groups smaller than 50," the restaurant announced via email to patrons. "We will also be announcing dinner specials via our Instagram available for lunch and dinner pickup daily."
The Bearded Lady is offering curbside pick-up on all to-go orders.
Chadra Mezza is closed for dine-in for the next three days. They are doing deliveries, to-go orders, and catering only.
Neighbor's House Grocery is offering curbside pick-up and is another option for groceries.
Paco's Mexican Cuisine is offering curbside pick-up and free delivery.
Tastebuds Eatery is closed and only offering curbside pickup.
Piattello Italian Kitchen is offering a curbside pick-up option, as well as take-and-bake offerings like frozen trays of lasagna that serve 6-8 people. Reserve by calling 817-349-0484.
Hot Box Biscuit Club has closed the dining room temporarily and is now set up for online orders through its website. You can also call them at 817-887-9019 and they'll run it out to you at the curb.
Three Danes Baking Company will will offer free, curbside delivery service — with advance order via Facebook message or text message — during regular storefront business hours on Friday and Saturday. Check the Facebook page for more information and menus.
McKinley's Bakery & Cafe is open until 3 pm each day and is also offering to-go or curbside pickup; call 817-332-3242.
Zoës Kitchen has suspended dine-in at all locations. Order ahead for pick up via their app or zoeskitchen.com/order-now. They also offer delivery via their website, the Zoës Kitchen app, or through Uber Eats. Hours of operations will be tailored to the specific needs of each Zoës Kitchen location and the surrounding community, they say.
Teresa Gubbins and Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story, which is being continuously updated. Email restaurant updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.