The coronavirus outbreak has challenged the restaurant industry. Across the country, restaurants are closing their dining rooms and moving towards to-go and delivery only.
That unfortunate trend is beginning to make its way to Houston, too. Goodnight Hospitality, the high-flying restaurant group behind Rosie Cannonball, Montrose Cheese & Wine, and Goodnight Charlie's, has taken dramatic steps in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Beginning Tuesday, March 17, it will temporarily close Goodnight Charlie's and transition Rosie Cannonball to serve diners via delivery and to-go.
"We feel that this is the only way to truly contain the spread of the coronavirus and are optimistic that the community will be ready to support our industry during these trying times as the restaurant industry has supported our patrons," Goodnight partner June Rodil tells CultureMap in an email. "When the time comes, we will be ready to open our doors and celebrate the ability to provide our services to our maximum capacity."
Open since the end of 2017, Goodnight Charlie's is the company's live music venue and dancehall. Its food menu focuses on tacos, which are paired with an extensive selection of whiskey, straightforward cocktails, and craft beer. Unlike its siblings, it cannot operate without customers present inside its walls, which is why the company has temporarily shuttered it.
Rosie Cannonball will operate with a limited menu. Diners will be able to order via the restaurant's website or by calling 832-380-2471. Usually open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday and dinner Tuesday-Sunday, Rosie will reduce its hours to 12-8 pm Tuesday-Saturday. In addition to curbside pickup Rosie will offer "delivery to [the] surrounding neighborhood" as well.
Montrose Cheese & Wine will make similar changes. Although its focus has always been as a retail wine store and cheesemonger, the venue also offers a small wine bar and limited patio seating. Effective immediately, it will switch to retail-only and operate on the same hours as Rosie Cannonball. Customers have the option of entering the store or picking up curbside. Orders may be placed by the MCW website or by calling 832-380-2461.
Rodil adds that Goodnight is committed to providing paid time off to its full time employees. "At this time we have a two week promise and plan for our team, but will be assessing each day how to best move forward should this crisis last longer," she writes.
In the short term, Rodil hopes the government considers some form of immediate financial relief that will allow restaurants to stay open or reopen quickly. She's firmly opposed to any legislative action that compels restaurants to close.
"I am not sure that laying off an entire staff and having them apply for unemployment will be the long term answer for the economy in general," Rodil writes. "While we appreciate and empathize with business that are going that route because they truly care for the well being of their team; we worry that this may collapse infrastructure in general and feel that our local, state, and federal governments should find other avenues of support. Forced closures for all restaurants, bars, and clubs will mean that many will never reopen."