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Locally-Owned Restaurants in Fort Worth Adjust to Smaller Crowds

March 16,2020

See full NBC DFW article by Deborah Ferguson here.

Magnolia Avenue in the Near Southside area of Fort Worth prides itself on being a dining destination. More than two dozen restaurants are locally-owned or based in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Many are adjusting menus and hours to reflect a new existence brought on by the threat of coronavirus and restrictions on the size of public gatherings.

Lunchtime favorite Lilli’s Bistro has a sign on the front door with new operating hours for the week of March 16. Lunch hours are approximate and dinner service is canceled some nights.

Spiral Diner and Bakery, a vegan restaurant next door, will operate under a new normal by midweek. General manager Quinn Ofeno said “we’ve been taking it day by day” and by Wednesday the restaurant will shift to “take out and to go orders only.”

Ellerbe Fine Foods is offering curbside to-go for diners who are “feeling a little anxious,” according to a post on Facebook offering service that goes “from the farm to your car.”

Italian favorite Nonna Tata told diners, “Your health and happiness is our number one priority” in a Facebook post about delivery service through Caviar.

Around the corner on Park Place Avenue, a sign on the front door of locally-owned Chadra Mezza and Grill tells diners, “We love our customers and want to support the health of our community.” It closed the doors for dine-in and is only accepting take out orders for now.

Jon Bonnell, owner and executive chef at Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine and Waters Restaurant in Sundance Square assured diners of specific protocols to keep them safe from regular disinfecting to providing more space between customers. Yet, in a candid post on Facebook, Bonnell also said, “These are uncertain and rocky times for everyone. The future is unclear. One thing I know for sure is that your local restaurants are also suffering.”

“Our industry is dying,” Bonnell wrote.

Back at Spiral Diner, Ofren says the changes don’t reflect a fear that customers won’t show up but rather it’s “understanding and respecting their choice. We’re all learning together.”


Location Mentioned: Waters