Local restaurant ready to reopen, another will wait a few more weeks

WACO, Texas (KWTX) Several local restaurants say they are ready to reopen and abide by Texas Governor Greg Abbott's guidelines during the first phase of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced movie theaters, restaurants, malls and retail stores could open, but only at 25 percent capacity.

On Monday, Abbott announced movie theaters, restaurants, malls and retail stores could open, but only at 25 percent capacity.

“We’re hoping that this is kind of like a soft opening,” said Sammy Citrano, owner of Waco staple George’s.

“We are making sure our staff and our customers are starting to understand how this goes.”

Others are playing it by ear.

“We think it’s in the best interest of our employees and the customers if we just wait it out to - maybe even the second phase - until it gets a little bit more secure,” said Jimmy Baris, manager of Baris Italian Restaurant.

“There are still new cases (of Covid-19) coming out. And I don’t want anybody getting sick because we’re trying to make money.”

The Citrano family at George’s has worked closely with the Texas State Board of Restaurant Associations as well as the governor and mayor’s office to implement safe practices for its reopening.

“We need our customers to be patient. We need our customers not to come if they’re sick," said Citrano.

"We will be wearing gloves and masks. And sanitizing like we have always done. Even more so. We hope people don’t come and linger for three or four hours. We want people to come and then let their other friends come and have a good time.”

At Baris, they still feel the cons outweigh the pros when even with social distancing measures.

“It’s tough,” said Baris. “Because when you look at it financially it’s like wow we are losing a lot of money every month but when you weigh it out to people’s health, it’s not even a comparison.”