Brothers compare pros and cons of reopening restaurants in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Inside Pappy's Café, an iconic comfort food spot on Houston's west side, the 6,000 square foot dining room is barren.

The crowd and cash of a busy Friday night have been gone for weeks.

"I had a feeling they were going to shut us down and a week later they did," said owner Paul Braden.

He is one of the thousands of restaurant owners in Houston praying for an economic recovery.

"I just want so badly to reopen,"

He said he had to furlough half his staff, and take-out orders are covering just 30 percent of what Pappy's Café used to bring in.

Talks of opening the Texas economy, for him, sound like prayers answered.

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But his older brother, Albert Braden, a primary care physician in West University, sees the other side of this.

"The virus is one of the most contagious viruses the world has ever seen," said Dr. Braden.

The 'Stay Home' order has interrupted his business too, but he says he's watched several of his patients contract the virus and suffer.

"Therefore, it's imperative we allow the rate of infection and deaths to go down before we re-open the economy."

Even with his brother's restaurant in mind, Albert worries about the severe health consequences of opening too many businesses before May 1.
He suggests a timeline based on testing numbers, which are still slow to come in.

"The earliest would be May 15th and possibly June 1," said Albert.

Both agree the steps Gov. Greg Abbott is proposing, in a responsible re-opening could work.

"I'm all for it, but I don't want to go bankrupt or lose my restaurant either," said Paul.

Two brothers, like millions of other Texans, on opposite sides of a very polarizing issue how to save lives and livelihoods through this pandemic.

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