Local Restaurant to Defy Shutdown Order by Reopening Dining Room

A local restaurateur will resume dine-in service this weekend in spite of Harris County's COVID-19 shutdown order.

Matt Brice owns and operates the Federal American Grill in Houston and Hedwig Village. He told KPRC 950's Ken Webster Jr. the village location will re-open first, since it's not governed by Houston-Harris County.

“The mayor of Hedwig Village is 100 percent supportive of this,” says Brice. “He's actually sent us a declaration welcoming us to open. That's why I'm opening Hedwig and not opening the Shepherd location as of yet.”

Brice for now is only offering limited seating by reservation only.

“There is a possibility that they come in a shut us down,” he says. “If you're in the middle of your dining experience, what am I going to do? If I don't know you, it's a little bit worse.”

A spokesperson for the Harris County Fire Marshal's office says it's up to Hedwig Village to enforce the shutdown or not, but any complaint would likely loop back through the county.

Brice believes small business owners can better enforce social distancing than the larger retail and grocery chains allowed to stay open during the shutdowns.

“Allowing Walmart, Walgreen's, Target, Costco, whoever else is open, how is that any more safer than coming to a restaurant who is very responsible?” he asks. “I challenge and ask anybody that wants to, take a look at what we're doing. Sit in my kitchen. I don't care.”

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