Restaurant owners with deep ties to Richardson ask public to pay it forward during coronavirus crisis

Co-owner of Shady's Burgers & Brewhaha Greg Cooney (left) is reporting a loss of revenue and employee furloughs due to the coronavirus. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Co-owner of Shady's Burgers & Brewhaha Greg Cooney (left) is reporting a loss of revenue and employee furloughs due to the coronavirus. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Co-owner of Shady's Burgers & Brewhaha Greg Cooney (left) is reporting a loss of revenue and employee furloughs due to the coronavirus. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)

In its first year of business in Richardson, Industrial Pizza + Brew received a warm reception from the community—so much so that owner Kelly Newsom said his restaurant was “busting at the seams.”

“We were at a point where we had to ramp up our takeout business ... all of that has, in hindsight, helped us with what’s going on now,” he said.

Business slowed to a grinding halt earlier this week when spread of the coronavirus led government officials to put in place restrictions meant to discourage people from socializing. The restaurant industry, which relies heavily on social gatherings, has been particularly hard-hit.

So far at Industrial, no one has been let go, Newsom said. However, he has chosen to temporarily suspend lunch and catering service since many workplaces have closed.

“That’s where we’ve certainly seen a dip,” he said.


Industrial is a counter-service operation, so most of its front-of-house employees have easily transitioned to the takeout-only format, Newsom said.

Other restaurants have not been so lucky. Across town at Shady's Burgers & Brewhaha, staff has been slashed to a skeleton crew of only three or four workers, co-owner Greg Cooney said.

“I’m sure morale for those folks is doom and gloom since no one knows what the end looks like,” he said.

Cooney said he and his partners are doing their best to ramp up curbside service so they can bring back furloughed workers. As of March 18, both Shady’s and sister restaurant The Fifth: Fireside Patio and Bar are also offering free, local delivery within a two-mile radius. The Fifth also offers family meals.

On the first day of the ban on dine-in service, revenue at Shady’s and The Fifth was down by about 65%, Cooney said. The ability to include alcohol on to-go or delivery orders should help those margins, he said.

Cooney and his partners have also spoken with other local business owners, including Newsom, about how they can support each other through this time. Strategies include sharing inventory and cross-promoting each other's services, Newsom said.

“There are many things we can do to help each other,” he said. “This is not a time to compete with one another.”

The support of other businesses goes a long way, but restaurants need customers to survive, Cooney said. Each year, Shady’s donates thousands of dollars to local schools, Cooney said, and now Shady’s is asking the community to pay it forward.

“We really need them right now; we need support,” he said. “We are pricing our food so that our kitchen staff and the folks that are serving it can stay employed."

Here’s a breakdown of what Shady’s, The Fifth and Industrial Pizza + Brew offer:

Shady's Burgers & Brewhaha is offering curbside pickup and free, local delivery service within a two-mile radius. Bottles of wine and beer can also be delivered.

The Fifth: Fireside Patio and Bar is offering curbside and free, local delivery within a 2-mile radius. Bottles of wine can also be delivered. The business is also offering family-style meals.

Industrial Pizza + Brew is offering 50% off canned beer and 25% off bottles of wine. The restaurant has changed its hours and is open for dinner service only. Guests can opt for curbside pickup if they prefer not to enter the restaurant.

For updates on other businesses in Richardson, visit this link.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Olivia Lueckemeyer

Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins presented possible coronavirus case trends at a March 22 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy WFAA-TV)
Dallas County judge asks feds for more tests, more funds for drive-thru test sites

Judge Clay Jenkins also applauded the governor for issuing a statewide executive order on social distancing.

Census day is April 1. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
Dallas-Fort Worth area sees highest population increase in last decade of any metropolitan area

The North Texas area’s population rose by more than 1.2 million between 2010 and 2019.

Dallas County is reporting its largest-yet single-day uptick in COVID-19 cases March 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
DATA: Explore COVID-19 trends in Dallas County as officials report largest single-day case increase, 13 deaths

Dallas County is reporting 82 more cases of coronavirus, bringing the countywide total to 631.

Owner of Asian Mint Nikky Phinyawatana saw an opportunity to support at-home cooking endeavors by launching the Chef Mint from Home program. (Courtesy Asian Mint)
Chef at Asian Mint in Richardson sends Thai recipes home with meal kit program

Nikky Phinyawatana launched the program in response to the at-home cooking trend brought on by coronavirus.

Gov. Greg Abbott updated Texans and issued an executive order regarding the state's response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis during a March 31 afternoon press conference. (Screenshot via livestream)
'Now is the time to redouble our efforts': Abbott issues executive order for state on COVID-19 extending school closures, clarifying essential services

Gov. Greg Abbott updated Texans and issued an executive order regarding the state's response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis during a March 31 afternoon press conference.

Judge Jill Willis of the 429th District Court on March 31 denied Derek V. Baker’s request for a temporary restraining order against McKinney's shelter-in-place ordinance. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Court decision leaves McKinney's shelter-in-place ordinance intact

A court left McKinney’s shelter-in-place ordinance intact after a resident’s legal challenge claimed the policy conflicted with the county judge’s order.

The board of trustees voted March 30 to give Superintendent Jeannie Stone the authority to approve contracts and sign waivers without board approval. (Courtesy Richardson ISD)
Richardson ISD considers changing grading system to pass/fail amid emergency school closures

The board discussed changing the district's grading system for the remainder of the semester.

MD Medical Group now has drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities at seven Dallas-Fort Worth locations. (Courtesy MD Medical Group)
MD Medical Group opens COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites at 7 locations in Dallas-Fort Worth

Select locations can test up to 1,200 patients per day, according to the medical group.

Trustees and district officials held the March 30 meeting over video conference. (Courtesy Zoom)
Richardson ISD trustees vote to postpone May election to November

The decision comes as school districts and municipalities across Texas delay elections due to coronavirus concerns.

Collin County Judge Chris Hill's order urges residents to stay home except for travel related to essential activities and defines all business as essential. (Courtesy Collin County)
Collin County commissioners extend shelter-in-place order, clarify city authority

No changes were made to County Judge Chris Hill’s original order during the March 30 commissioners meeting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends regular exercise to combat coronavirus-related stress and anxiety. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Here are 4 ways Richardson residents can curb stress, anxiety brought on by fear of coronavirus

Area businesses and organizations are providing free or low-charge services to help residents cope with the crisis.

The $2 trillion stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, includes billions of dollars in assistance for small businesses and certain nonprofits. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Significance of $2T federal stimulus package for small businesses explained during Richardson chamber webinar

The $2 trillion stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, includes billions of dollars in assistance for small businesses and certain nonprofits.