For approximately a year, Texas businesses have done whatever they could to remain afloat. As Covid-19 ravaged the state and the nation they pivoted into takeout service, operated their dining rooms at reduced abilities and needed masks for their workers and their clients, all according to state rules.
Last week that they were given the chance to come back to normal, following the Senate issued an executive order lifting the state’s mask mandate and enabling businesses to reopen at 100 percent capacity.
However, their approaches change: While some have relaxed their rules a bit, others opted to continue requiring masks and restricted that the occupancy of the dining rooms.
Just as diverse as the approaches were their experiences this weekend, the first without Covid-19 limitations on businesses — some saw company improve, others said things stayed much the same. One was the target of racist vandalism.
Here’s what some Texas businesses told CNN about their first weekend since restrictions were raised.
“Kung influenza,””go back two China” and”hope U die,” were written in red spray paint, based on photos he shared with CNN.
“Honestly, to me it is a bit of cloth which goes over your face,” he explained. “I don’t know why they took it this far, but I guess that they needed to send a message that masks are absurd, or whatever.”
The San Antonio Police Department is investigating the vandalism of the Noodle Tree restaurant as a example of”criminal mischief,” a spokesperson told CNN in an email Monday.
Apart from the illness, Nguyen stated the weekend went well. He chose to continue requiring masks for clients unless they are seated at their tables. And he’s capped his dining room at roughly 60% to 70%, instead of fully reopening.
Before the restaurant was vandalized, Noodle Tree really doubles its company in comparison to last weekend,” Nguyen said, calling it one of the restaurant’s”busiest evenings .” He couldn’t say whether the increase was because of the lifting of restrictions or support from the neighborhood.
Nguyen said whoever vandalized his restaurant does not represent Texans and they don’t signify San Antonians. Sunday, Nguyen told CNN people were approaching the business throughout the morning to help clean up.
“I’m very humbled,” he said. “But I’m not surprised.
He explained that was evident in how many Texans are still wearing masks, regardless of the relaxed restrictions.
“It sort of shows you that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we all can go back to what we used to be,” he said. “That is reassuring.”
“I am just hoping we don’t go backward,” he added.
Nguyen told CNN’s”Erin Burnett OutFront” on Monday he felt forced to continue discuss the issue behind the vandalism, despite recently getting death threats.
“I feel as if it’s kind of my job to sort of bring more consciousness to it until it gets to a point where (it accelerates to violence),” he told CNN.
Lisa Dickinson, Fort Worth
Lisa Dickinson, the director of a store in Fort Worth known as Parts Unknown, said company was great this weekend. Saturday, the store actually surpassed the business it had done in precisely the same period in 2019, she explained. “It was a great day.”
The shop isn’t needing masks of its clients, Dickinson stated, a decision which has been made by its corporate office. But most of the clients who came in this weekend wore masks she said.
Lisa Dickinson says many customers who visited her Fort Worth shop this weekend wore masks, regardless of the state lifting the mandate.
“Nobody was angry with those that didn’t and nobody was angry with those that did,” she explained. “Everybody minded their own company and had a fantastic time.”
A variety of customers this weekend were between the ages of 50 and 70, Dickinson stated, and they told her they’d been”hunkered down inside their houses for the previous year because of the pandemic.” “This is like the very first time they had ventured out in a while. They chose to come to Fort Worth, they grabbed a hotel, they do a little dinnerthey do some shopping”
Dickinson said individuals are smart enough to make their own decisions about wearing masks. But she recognized the pandemic is not over and said she expected people would be”sensible” rather than congregate in large groups.
“But after what I watched this weekend, the decent folks of Texas… they admire what they need to perform, and that I do not think we will need to be told what we to do or hide in our houses,” she said. “So I’m very hopeful for the future.”
Nicola Blaque, San Antonio
Chef Nicola Blaque possesses two restaurants in San Antonio. One of these, Mi Roti, which she opened throughout the pandemic, is in a San Antonio food hallway and the land oversees the Covid-19 restrictions there. Meaning no indoor dining and masks for everyone.
Despite the restrictions, business Saturday was”really, really great,” Blaque told CNN.
“The restrictions at that restaurant are very powerful,” she explained,”and we did not have any backlash or anybody not following the rules.”
As for her other restaurant, The Jerk Shack, business was largely the same this weekend as it’s been during the pandemic. Although the restaurant has outdoor dining, Blaque has lasted with takeout service and still encourages social distancing.
But following the sheriff’s order, Blaque chose to give customers the option to wear masks in The Jerk Shack — a choice that brought her a couple of one-star reviews from customers who were upset she wasn’t requiring them.