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How local restaurant owners are responding to Abbott's plan to let them reopen Friday

Some San Antonio restaurant owners are excited to reopen dining rooms, but others aren't sure it will be worth it at 25% capacity.

SAN ANTONIO — Starting Friday, Texas restaurants can open their dining rooms with certain restrictions, but they don't have to. It is up to the owners, and some are excited to reopen while others are wary of the challenges.

On Monday, Governor Abbott served up some good news for Texas restaurants hoping to open up their doors for dine-in service. However, the total occupancy will be limited to 25% of the normal limit.

"My reaction was positive," said Federico Guillen, co-owner and manager of Sabor Cocinabar. "I mean, we are finally going to be open."

The local eatery has been offering to-go orders. Before the pandemic, 90 percent of the business was dine-in.  

"It is not a lot," Guillen said. "You are going to have to know how to manage your labor and everything to have that amount of capacity. It is going to be tough to manage how many people inside."

Guillen is working on a plan to open-up Friday, but other San Antonio business owners aren't sure if its worth it.

Ceasar Zepeda operates Sangria on the Burg and Alamo Biscuit Company & Panaderia.

"No restaurant is going to open up with 12 seats," he said. "I mean that would be my capacity inside. It is not a recipe for success."

He's still on the fence on if he should open-up for dine-in. He has lost the majority of his staff, and is working with a smaller group. 

"It is not just open and it is all great," he said. "Now we have to hire back people try to get them back. and for some people there is not a guarantee they have a certain amount of money, so it is their benefit to be on unemployment cause they are going to make more on unemployment."

The governor doesn't want a flare-up in cases. The next two weeks are critical. If this ends up working out, phase two will kick in, which means restaurants will be able to have 50 percent of their occupancy inside.

As for Zepeda, he will meet with his team, in the next few days, to decide if they should open for dine-in, or just stick with curbside and delivery.

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