Seabrook restaurant Merlion keeping other restaurants afloat

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Seabrook restaurant keeping other eateries afloat
Merlion has been a staple in Seabrook for over 30 years.

SEABROOK, TX (KTRK) -- A Seabrook Thai restaurant is working with other struggling restaurants while preparing for a partial re-opening.

"We've all had to change gears. I mean, it's like sink or swim. You don't have a choice," explained owner Brooke Villanueva. "These are the businesses you have fought for for years and you just can't stop. You have to continue fighting."

The restaurant has been offering to-go service for more than a month, which includes special deliveries to local hospitals.

"It makes you feel like you have accomplished something and you know that people have your back and you have theirs," Villanueva said.

Merlion has been in Seabrook for thirty years.

It's one of the few restaurants with resources to help.

So, the owners here are now sharing their customer base with others.

They're hiring other restaurants and caterers to cover orders for them.

"I can't deny that I've been scared a good chunk of the time, but I also been given a new sense of purpose," explained caterer Nicole McEachern. "It's helped me redirect my business. I'm trying to see it as the glass is half full."

Merlion will partially open to customers on Friday, May 1st.

It's a relief for owners, but also a clear sign that even the re-opening process won't be simple, and many will need help along the way.

"We have to adjust. I can sit around and complain, but that doesn't pay my staff," said Villanueva.

"The sense of community was already there in this area, but it's kind of bringing all of us closer to see all these business owners helping other business owners," explained McEachern.