Local stores and restaurants reopened Friday morning as the statewide stay-at-home order expired.
Non-essential businesses and restaurant dining rooms have been closed since late March in Denton County, and they were closed statewide in early April. Gov. Greg Abbott announced this week that it was time to begin reopening the state’s economy in phases, and that his order would supersede any local orders. Denton County has aligned its orders with the Governor’s.
The reopenings come the morning after Texas’ deadliest day of the pandemic yet. Another 50 deaths from the virus were reported Thursday — the most in one day — and an additional 1,033 had tested positive — the third most in a day yet, according to the Texas Tribune.
As of Friday morning, restaurant dining rooms, retail stores, malls and movie theaters can open up to 25% occupancy in Texas, per the Governor’s new executive order. Many of these businesses in Denton County are opening for the first time in over a month.
“The management team and the tenants at The Shops at Highland Village are excited to reopen,” said a statement from The Shops management team. “On behalf of the restaurants and essential retail that were able to remain open during this crisis, we thank the community for their support. We have regularly communicated with City and County authorities to make the reopening process happen as smoothly as possible and appreciate the cooperation of our guests as we move forward.”
The Shops at Highland Village will be “committed to maintaining a high level of cleanliness as operations return to normal … cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting throughout the day, focusing on areas and surfaces with the potential for frequent guest contact.”
In The Shops at Highland Village, Jack’s Outfitters, NASR Brothers Jewelers, Brightside Boutique and most of its restaurants are open Friday. You can purchase items for curbside pickup from Barnes & Noble, Nasr Jewelers, Brightside Boutique, Megans Lifestyle Boutique, Jack’s Outfitters, James Avery Artisan Jewelry and Lucy Voss.
Many shops in Music City Mall Lewisville opened Friday, with more planning to open each day as they work out their plans for getting back to business, according to a mall spokesperson. The mall will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
“We are committed to safeguarding the health of shoppers, team members and tenants,” the mall said in a statement. “We are taking extra measures to keep everyone safe and healthy at Music City Mall. We have enhanced our normal cleaning program which includes regular deep cleaning with approved disinfectants. These cleanings are now being done with more frequency. The mall was thoroughly cleaned during its closure. Hand sanitizing stations are available at each entrance. Elevators and escalators will offer limited capacity. Signage outside each merchant will indicate maximum occupancy of every retail space.”
Many restaurants that are opening their dining rooms will continue to provide their new and/or expanded pickup and delivery services. Abbott has said that alcohol pickup and delivery will continue to be permitted.
Some are choosing to not reopen their dining rooms yet. Earl’s 377 Pizza, Anamia’s Tex Mex, Chick-Fil-A and other Denton County eateries have announced that they’ll continue to provide their food pickup and/or delivery services, but they’re not going to reopen inside just yet. Moviehouse & Eatery will stay closed — many movies, including expected blockbusters, originally scheduled to be released in May and June have been delayed until later in the year.
The town of Flower Mound has updated its restaurant directory with information about all the known services being provided by eateries in the town, now including whether they are offering dine-in service.
If the state government believes that the pandemic remains under control after the reopenings, Abbott said he will allow more types of businesses to reopen — and for the current occupancy restrictions to be lessened — as early as mid-May.
While things are reopening, residents are strongly encouraged to continue to take extra precautions to avoid getting and spreading the virus. Follow social distancing guidelines, don’t gather in large groups, stay six feet away from people not in your own household, wear masks when interacting with others in public, don’t go out if you are feeling sick, wash your hands often and don’t touch your face. Visit www.dentoncounty.gov/COVID19 for COVID-19 health and safety information.