“We are moving to offer family comfort meals that we will rotate in and out,” Wells said. “It will be a changing menu, like everything, as this situation develops.”
A staple of the Unique Dining Capital of Texas since the mid-1990s, The Classic Cafe was forced to go from white-tablecloth fine dining to curbside pickup and delivery within three days, Wells said.
Within a week, a bare-bones staff created an entirely new menu that allows customers to enjoy The Classic’s cooking at home, he said.
Three-course family dinners are $25 per person and feature dishes such as bourbon or braised chicken; beef shepherd’s pie; chicken and dumplings; classic meatloaf; and beef stroganoff.
“We also have a sample of favorites that have been on the menu since we were simply a walk-in fine dining restaurant,” Wells said. “The way that we have pivoted with the staff that we have has been truly amazing.”
The restaurant has remained open every Mon.-Sat. from 4-8 p.m., and orders are accepted by phone at any time of day.
Staff have implemented a number of curbside pickup and delivery protocols as well, he said. No one is allowed inside the building, staff have sequestered themselves, and products delivered by vendors are sanitized, Wells said. Six-foot social distancing and other guidelines put in place by city and county orders are also being observed for curbside and pickup.
“We are taking this seriously in every protocol that we do, just like we have for 27 years,” Wells said. “There is no guidebook here. There is no guidance from anybody.”
The restaurant has every intention of reopening to full capacity once restrictions are lifted, he said. In the meantime, adjustments have been made to provide more offerings and engage with customers.
Capitalizing on reduced Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulations instituted by Gov. Greg Abbott, the restaurant is now offering wine, beer and margarita options through pickup or delivery.
In addition, The Classic Cafe's in-house sommelier, Francis Silmon, is educating customers through a weekly virtual wine pairing series, including a special Easter edition.
“We honestly have not had time to breathe,” Wells said. “The community support has been outstanding, comforting and appreciated.”