Welcome to AM Intel in the time of coronavirus, a round-up of the city’s newest bits of restaurant-related intel. Follow Eater on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date details on how COVID-19 is impacting the city’s dining scene.
Police called to break up crowd at Uptown restaurant last night
Tensions between a new restaurant in Uptown and its neighbors finally boiled over last night after police were called to disperse a large crowd that had gathered. Harris’ House of Heroes, which opened at the beginning of the year on McKinney Avenue and is owned by former New Orleans Saints player De’Vante Harris, has been the subject of numerous 911 calls due to large crowds since it first opened. Last night, cops were called to enforce limited occupancy rules in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
ABC News 8 reports that the business has an occupancy of 66, meaning that only 16 or so people — 25 percent — should have been inside last night. Video of the incident shows many more than 16 people standing outside the restaurant, but occupancy limits do not apply to patios or outdoor spaces, so long as social distancing is maintained.
Harris said he feels he is being unfairly targeted because he is black, as is the majority of his clientele.
TNT Tacos sues landlord over changed locks
The owners of TNT Tacos and Tequila, an upscale Tex-Mex restaurant in the Quadrangle, are embroiled in a legal battle with their landlords after said landlords changed the locks on the business twice, allegedly without cause.
The restaurant, which has been in business for five years, was set to reopen on May 20 following the coronavirus shutdown. Owners Jim and Liz Baron arrived to find the locks changed and a “default notice” on the door, according to Culturemap. It’s the second time since 2019 that property owners Stream Realty Partners have changed the locks. The Barons told Culturemap they are up to date on their rent, but that their rent check dated May 1 has not yet been cashed.
Stream bought the property in January 2019 with plans to build a high rise office building in the spot. Other businesses on the property, including British Beverage Co., have had their locks changed. Several of the business owners there believe the lockouts are an attempt to close down the existing businesses so that the shopping center can be razed to make way for the new office building.
McKinney created Restaurant Council to help owners navigate post-shutdown reopening
The McKinney Chamber of Commerce has created a new organization to help restaurant owners make informed decisions about reopening under the state of Texas’s coronavirus recommendations.
The McKinney Restaurant Council aims to help restaurants “adapt to the new normal” of social distancing, limited occupancy and economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, according to the Dallas Morning News. The council’s first order of business was to adopt a declaration by the Texas Restaurant Association saying restaurants will follow a number of best practices to keep customers safe.