How area restaurants are responding

Houston’s boil water notice forced restaurants and bars to scramble Sunday evening as business owners toiled over whether to open or close on Monday.

Some decided to pause service until the water issue is resolved, while a majority of restaurants decided to take a we’re-open-but-taking-precautions approach.

For many, shutting down for one day is too much of a financial risk — even if it’s on a Monday, which is traditionally slower.

“This is the last thing a restaurant operator needs right now,” said Rafael Nasr, who recently opened a second location for his Craft Pita in West University. “I have a brand new restaurant. I can’t afford to close.”

Like many Houstonians, Nasr didn’t hear about the boil water notice until late Sunday as he was scrolling through his Instagram feed.

“I let out a big groan,” said Nasr. “But you have to make a decision pretty quickly. I came up with a plan: buy water, boil water and communicate to my team.”

Nasr said he had already worked a 12-hour day when he headed to Kroger shortly before 8 pm Sunday to buy 160 bottles of water and 20 gallons of distilled water to use at Craft Pita for preparing food and cleaning his kitchens.

His restaurants cater to a large lunch crowd, and closing Monday could have cut to 15 percent of his sales for the week.

“We’re a seven day a week restaurant,” said Nasr. “We want to be a constant reliable for people. When you’re not

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