Some Plano businesses, residents test waters for partial reopening, but many stay home

Dana Riddle (left) and Amber Arthur (right) eat on the patio of Taverna at Legacy West. They wanted to support local businesses and go out for some wine, the two said, and planned on tipping well. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dana Riddle (left) and Amber Arthur (right) eat on the patio of Taverna at Legacy West. They wanted to support local businesses and go out for some wine, the two said, and planned on tipping well. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Dana Riddle (left) and Amber Arthur (right) eat on the patio of Taverna at Legacy West. They wanted to support local businesses and go out for some wine, the two said, and planned on tipping well. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Some Plano businesses began the process of reopening May 1 under Gov. Greg Abbott’s newest order, while many residents and business owners took a wait-and-see approach.

Restaurant patios, retail stores and other business areas started to see traffic again throughout the city while business owners kept an eye on capacity, which cannot exceed one-fourth of what it was prior to the coronavirus-related restrictions.

Reopening came with conflicting emotions for some business owners, including Michelle Moore.

“It was a hard decision, and sometimes I still question [it], but we’d had so many customers wanting to come in and to shop,” said Moore, the owner of Scout & Molly’s at The Shops at Legacy.

Moore said she is playing the situation by ear, a sentiment echoed by other business owners who reopened May 1.


Some residents found the partial reopenings as an opportunity to get out of the house.

Bailey Hollingsworth and a friend visited Main Street Bread Baking Co. at The Shops at Legacy. They brought along masks and kept their hands washed, she said.

"We just missed the feel of restaurants and the social exposure,” Hollingsworth said. “We've mostly been going through drive-thrus and being home, so we just wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to be out and about."

Dana Riddle and Amber Arthur stopped by the Taverna restaurant at Legacy West to have wine on the patio and support the business.

“We plan on tipping well,” Riddle said.

“Very well,” Arthur added.

Residents throughout the state have been generally supportive of the restrictions intended to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, showing at least two-thirds approval for business closures and stay-at-home orders in a poll conducted by the University of Texas and The Texas Tribune.

The Texas Restaurant Association polled its members this week, finding that roughly half of the earliest 401 respondents were delaying returns to dine-in service.

For Ram Mehta, owner of InFretta Pizza, the risk of exposing his staff or customers to the coronavirus was still too high to reopen.

“I don't want to be responsible for anybody getting sick,” Mehta said.

Though Mehta is aware of the financial consequences of not resuming dine-in service, he said the sacrifice is worth the wait.

“We have our whole life to make money, but if we don't value human life, what's the point?” Mehta said.

Plano’s Taverna Rossa and Union Bear Brewing Co. were waiting to reopen for dine-in services, said Shannon McCarthy, a spokesperson for 33 Restaurant Group.

The company was eager to get operations ramped up but was prioritizing safety and keeping an eye on the economic climate before moving beyond to-go orders and curbside service, McCarthy said.

Olivia Lueckemeyer contributed to this report.

Daniel Houston - Liesbeth Powers