Texas reopening: Some businesses want to open at right time

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After being closed for weeks, many restaurant owners are anxious to open their dining rooms.

They can start opening Friday, but it can't be more than 25% occupancy.

Meanwhile, other businesses, like beauty salons and barber shops, will have to wait.

For example, The Beautique Day Spa & Salon has been sitting empty since March 16. The pandemic has kept the sinks from running and scissors from clipping.

"Unfortunately, it's very difficult to ascertain how you're going to be able to open, and pay your bills," said salon owner, Frank Burge, Sr.

Now, at 91 years old, Burge has owned this salon for 63 years. He's ready to reopen but wants it to be the right time. He also wants the salon to be fully prepared and able to meet the requirements.

Salons aren't on the list to open Friday, but they could open by mid-May.

"My biggest concern is my staff. I hope to be able to take care of them along the way, but I sure don't want to expose them in any way that would be dangerous to their health," said Burge.

Businesses that are on the list to open on Friday include movie theaters and restaurants.

Solento Bistrot in Rice Village is ready to open their doors and is already thinking of how to do that while maintaining social distancing.

"The plan, we've been thinking about that, how are we going to navigate the restaurant. The idea is that we have reservations, so that we can keep take-out in one side of the restaurant and reservation on the other side," said co-owner Jackie Campbell.

But is it too early?

ABC13 spoke with a doctor who has advised the governor's strike force.

"With us knowing our hospital capacity, I think it is okay to give it a try, and see how safe it is to open certain levels of the economy at this point," said Dr. Luis Ostrosky, an infectious disease specialist at McGovern Medical School at UT Health.

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