Welcome to Phase III of restaurants reopening. Beginning Friday, June 12, Gov. Greg Abbott allowed Texas restaurants to reopen at 75-percent capacity in their dining rooms and 100-percent outdoors.
As part of the protocols, restaurants “should” still provide 6 feet between tables unless they utilize partitions — then they only need to have 4 feet of space between them. Chris Shepherd has utilized them at all of his restaurants, so expect to see glass barriers in the dining rooms of Georgia James, UB Preserv, and One Fifth.
Other restaurants have erected barriers at their bars, which means the sushi chefs at Kata Robata are now separated from diners by plexiglass partitions, as are the bartenders at the Red Lion Pub.
In addition to physical barriers, diners should expect to see servers wearing masks, hand sanitizer at the entrance, and single-use condiments. Paper menus (or QR codes to access them via smartphone) are standard procedure, too.
Taken together, these measures are designed to decrease the possibility of contracting COVID-19 while allowing businesses to operate and customers to dine with family and friends. For those who still prefer to quarantine, all of these establishments also offer to-go service.
BCK: The burger-focused Heights restaurant has reopened for dinner daily plus brunch on the weekends. Hours are 3 - 9 pm Monday - Friday and 10 am - 9 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Better Luck Tomorrow: The food-forward Heights bar has reopened with new hours: 12 pm - 10 pm Monday - Friday and 11 am - 10 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Bosscat Kitchen: The whiskey-fueled restaurant has reopened for lunch and dinner during the week and brunch and dinner on the weekends. Open at 11 am daily.
Cantina Barba: Smoked pork tacos and mezcal slushies are once again available at this new-school taqueria just north of downtown. Hours are 9 am - 2 am Sunday - Thursday and 9 am - 3 am Friday and Saturday.
Caracol: Chef Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught’s sophisticated Mexican seafood restaurant has reopened for happy hour, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Diners are asked to wear masks when moving around the restaurant. Get wood-grilled oysters with chipotle butter from 4 - 9 pm Monday - Saturday and 10 am - 3 pm on Sunday.
Down House: The Heights comfort food restaurant has reopened for dine-in service with limited hours: dinner available 5 - 9 Thursday - Saturday and brunch 9 - 3 Saturday and Sunday.
Giacomo’s: The River Oaks Italian restaurant has reopened for patio dining only from 4 - 9 pm Tuesday - Saturday. Reservations required.
Ginza: Chef Harold Wong’s creative Japanese restaurant reopened for dine-in on June 1. Lunch is served Monday - Friday beginning at 11 am with dinner starting at 5 pm during the week and 4 pm on weekends.
Helen Greek Food & Wine: The Rice Village restaurant has undergone a comprehensive set of interior renovations, including removal of its bar, to suit mandates regarding social distancing. Get feta-brined chicken and gyros beginning at 11 am Tuesday - Sunday.
Izakaya Wa: Both the Memorial and River Oaks locations of the Japanese pub reopen for service on Tuesday, June 16. Hours at Memorial are 11:30 am - 2 pm and 5 - 10 pm Tuesday - Saturday and 5 - 9 pm on Sunday. River Oaks is dinner only; 5 - 10 pm Tuesday - Saturday.
Morningstar: The cafe and doughnut shop has reopened for dine-in service at 50-percent capacity. Hours are 6:30 am - 2:30 pm daily.
North Italia: The Galleria-area Italian restaurant has resumed lunch and dinner service during the week with brunch and dinner on the weekends. The restaurants opens at 11 am Monday - Friday and 10 am Saturday and Sunday.
Politan Row: Rice Village’s food hall has reopened with service from most of its vendors. Hours are 12 - 7 pm Tuesday - Sunday.
The Red Lion: The River Oaks pub has reopened for dine-in service with glass partitions between its red leather booths and a new menu with more vegetarian items. Open at 3 pm Monday - Thursday and 11 am Friday - Sunday.
Rosie Cannonball: Pizzas, pastas, and wood-grilled vegetables are once again available at this casual, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in Montrose. Reservations are required for dinner, served from 5 pm - 10 pm Tuesday - Saturday.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company: The brewery’s beer garden has reopened for outdoor dining beginning at 11 am daily.
Squable: Reservations are required at this European-inspired restaurant in The Heights that’s led by chef Mark Clayton and baker Drew Gimma. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday - Saturday and brunch on Sunday.
Sticky’s Chicken: The food truck-turned-restaurant reopened for dine-in service on Friday, June 12. Hours are 12 - 8 pm Tuesday - Saturday and 12 - 4 pm Sunday.
Theodore Rex: Reservations are required at chef Justin Yu’s refined downtown restaurant. Open from 5 - 10 pm Thursday - Monday.
Tiger Den: Ramen and izakaya skewers are once again available for dine-in at this Chinatown favorite. Lunch is served from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm Tuesday - Sunday with dinner beginning at 4:30 on the same days.
UB Preserv: Chef Nick Wong has introduced a new menu that mixes staples like crispy rice salad and Vietnamese fajitas with seasonal specials such as soft shell crab and an heirloom tomato salad. Safety precautions include glass partitions that block airflow between tables. Hours are 5 - 9 pm Thursday - Saturday and 10:30 am - 3 pm Sunday.
Vibrant: The healthy-eating concept in Montrose has reopened its patio (the dining room remains closed). Hours are 10 am - 8 pm daily.