HEDWIG VILLAGE – A Hedwig Village restaurant is defying state and county orders by offering a dine-in option. Although it was by reservation only, the Federal American Grill is open for business.
"We're trying to help open the economy, trying to get people back to work in the safest manner possible," said owner Matt Brice. "In my mind, there's no reason for us to be closed when other operations are open."
Brice said he had opened the restaurant a few weeks before the orders went into place amid COVID-19. He said he is expanding services while keeping safety measures in mind. New safety precautions include disposal paper menus and reduce dine-in capacity.
"We have sanitation buckets everywhere. We have social distancing," said Brice.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo responded to businesses considering to deny the county's orders.
"You know it's just sad," she said. "It is so sad because this is about safety. And it is also dangerous; in that sense, it's sad."
Still, many customers and even a Houston city councilman showed up to support the restaurant's move.
"Sometimes, civil disobedience is required to move things forward. That's why we remember Rosa Parks." Houston At-Large Council Member Michael Kubosh said.