Houston restaurant closures are back as the omicron wave approaches, with some already facing COVID outbreaks

Yesterday, a little after noon, the Dandelion Café published a notice on its Facebook page. It echoed the newly posted sign on the door of this breakfast staple Bellaire: “Due to an increase in COVID cases, including several among our staff, we believe it is in the best interest of our staff. , our customers and all families to shut down until everyone can work and be in a safe and healthy environment.

COVID “appears to be picking up in the industry,” city bartender and restaurateur Chris Frankel posted on the Dandelion Cafe Facebook page today. “I recently noticed that a number of responsible and vaccinated colleagues were positive and stranded in quarantine.” Complicating the situation is Omicron’s ability to pierce vaccine defenses.

If you had a reservation at Tiny Champions tonight, like a friend of mine did, you received an SMS this morning canceling your reservation. “Due to possible exposure to COVID, Tiny Champions will be closed this weekend and all reservations are being canceled,” reads the notice from popular pizza and pasta restaurant EaDo. “We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to welcome you back soon. “

An SMS sent by Tiny Champions on December 17th.

Jody Schmal / Staff

On the Instagram page for Squable, chef Justin Yu and Bobby Heugel’s Heights bistro, a similar notice was posted late this morning. “Despite widespread vaccinations among our staff, COVID has broken through. We are closed as of today as we take action to improve the health of our staff and guests. We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as possible. ”

January, in the words of Brown School of Public Health researcher Ashish K. Jha, is likely to be “complicated and disruptive.” The Little New Year’s Eve a friend was hosting in a private dining room was canceled this morning, just one of many calculations consumers and restaurant owners will have to balance in the weeks to come.

The temporary restaurant closures follow two years of pandemic disruption and setbacks in the hospitality industry. And they arrive during a traditionally lucrative holiday period before slower months at the start of the New Year.

Two years of riding with the fists, however, has left a more flexible industry in its wake. And not without optimism: “We plan to return on December 27 provided everyone is tested negative and in good health,” wrote the management of the Dandelion Cafe. So be it.

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