Local restaurants adjust dine-in options COVID-19 concerns rise

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Some local restaurateurs said with the COVID-19 cases rising at the pace it has been, they are making changes to their dine-in policies.

Based on Gov. Greg Abbott’s most recent order, restaurants can operate at 50% capacity but some, like Karat Bar and Bistro, said they are remaining at 25%, while folks at Stone Oven are not offering a dine-in option at all.

“Our pizza tastes just as good at home,” Stone Oven co-owner Katie Bindel said. “I promise you it tastes just as good at home as it does here.”

As COVID-19 cases in Wichita County continue to rise, local restaurateurs are adjusting their dine-in policies to promote an even safer environment.

Bindel said while she misses her customers, their health and safety is a priority as well as that of her staff and their families, that’s why she said the dine-in option will not be available until the new year.

“Some may say it’s a little drastic, some may say it’s a little over the top to say until 2021, but with everything so unknown and with all the rules changing on a day-to-day basis, I think that is the smartest choice that we can make,” Bindel said.

Mindy Giles with Karat Bar and Bistro said while they are now offering a limited dine-in option indoors, that was not always the case.

“As things started to rise here locally, the case numbers we felt like it was in our guests and staff’s best interest to close the indoor dining and keep the patio open,” Giles said.

But now that the Texas heat is not as bearable they have one indoor dining room open, but they’re still keeping the 6-foot distance between guests.

“We also have in this room particularly we have the drapes which kind of act as a natural barrier between the different parties and trying to keep everybody spaced out, Giles said. “We’re working on plans in the main dining room that we’ll build some partitions between the tables.”

Giles also said all guests are required to wear facemasks everywhere in the building except while they eat and wash their hands before being seated.

Bindel and Giles said they hope by implementing these small details they can do their part in reducing the spread of the virus.

Bindel said while they hope to reopen dine-in in January 2021, the time could be extended based on the circumstances.

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