Austin's restaurants have had a tough year. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, hospitals nearing capacity and Stage 5 COVID-19 risk-based guidelines in effect, some Austin eateries have taken it upon themselves to put "flattening the curve" on the menu.
After a year of strife and strain on the food industry, the latest Stage 5 recommendations have put extra strain on restaurant owners, leaving them between a rock and a hard place. Since the guidelines are just recommendations, not orders, owners are left with the choice to stay open and risk infection or close and lose money.
The guidelines recommend shuttering dine-in services, limiting outdoor dining to 50% and closing down at 10:30 p.m.
Although the guidelines just went into effect on Wednesday, these restaurants have already voluntarily closed their dining rooms.
P. Terry's announced on Saturday that it would close dining rooms at all burger stands and Taco Ranch locations effective immediately, though drive-thru and delivery will still be open.
DrinkWell, located at 207 E. 53rd St., closed its dine-in services on Wednesday, the same day Austin moved into Stage 5, though pickup and curbside options are still available.
"We are closing dine-in services voluntarily as a way to do our part to support our community in lowering the impact of COVID-19 for our guests and the staff here at DrinkWell," the restaurant said on Instagram.
Old Thousand, located at 1000 E. 11th St., made the decision to close Sunday but remains open for takeout. Its second location, at 4805 Burnet Road, was not mentioned in the temporary closure.
Eldorado Cafe, located at 3300 W. Anderson Lane, is one of the rare restaurants that has had their dining room closed through the entirety of the pandemic. Now is no different, as the restaurant plans to reopen indoor dining in 2021.
Likewise, L'Oca d'Oro, located at 1900 Simond Avenue, has kept customers from dining in for months, trying to adapt to the pandemic in other ways, like starting a subscription service.
The Texas Department of State Health Services will allocate 332,750 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 212 providers this week, with the bulk assigned to hub providers that are focused on widespread community distribution events. Six of those providers are in Travis County.
With the latest allocation of 16,450 sent to Travis County this week, the county will have received 104,275 doses of the vaccine. Local public health officials estimate that there are 285,000 area residents who fall in the 1A and 1B priority groups, meaning that around 37% of them should have access to doses seven weeks into the rollout process.
Here's where the latest allotment is going:
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Californian who wrote viral op-ed attacking Austin life tells Austonia he 'didn't include the positive stuff'
The California exodus has made headlines for several years now, and even more recently, with thousands of West Coasters seeking tax relief, less-expensive real estate and a simpler lifestyle in Texas' capital city.
However, a California man's scathing review of Austin, which was published in Business Insider on Wednesday, reveals that some are less than satisfied with their move.
Austin may soon be home to a tech plant that would dwarf the Tesla Gigafactory in both investment and job creation.
Samsung Electronics Co. is considering starting construction on a $10 billion memory chip plant in Austin as soon as this year, Bloomberg reported Friday.
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