CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The dining room at the Brewster Street Ice House Southside partially reopened Friday, the first day possible under Gov. Greg Abbott's orders.
Four days later, it threw a party.
"We do it every year," said Durrill Properties Chief Operations Officer Sam Canavati. Durrill owns both Brewster Street Ice House locations. "We love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It’s just a South Texas tradition, and we have a lot of fun with it.”
The party was different this year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Corpus Christi restaurants can only operate at 25-percent capacity. Canavati said the restaurant met those restrictions by removing lots of tables from the dining room and spacing those that remained at least 6 feet apart.
There are markers in several locations reminding people to practice social distancing. The restaurant also put a hand washing station outside the front door.
"We had to make a lot of changes," Canavati said. "It’s kind of changed the way we all act, and think, and feel -- just to be very safe.”
About a mile away from Brewster Street Ice House, On The Border is taking a different approach to reopening its dining room and celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
The popular Mexican restaurant sees its biggest day of sales on the Mexican holiday every year. Concerns that the annual large crowd of people would show up at the restaurant despite occupancy restrictions has On The Border delaying reopening its dining room until Wednesday -- the day after Cinco de Mayo.
"I don’t think people would care if we had 25 percent (of the maximum occupancy in people) in (the restaurant) or not," On The Border manager Michelle Kerpet said. "They’d still be lined up at the door to come in and do their normal celebrating Cinco de Mayo day."
Back at Brewster Street, the party went on until 9 p.m. Tuesday. Some partygoers said they'd stay safe all while having a good time.
"So long as we just keep our distance, I think we’ll be just fine,” Leticia Miranda said.