WACO, Texas – The Union Hall food court opened just months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Texas – and after some initial hiccups, eateries have thrived even with the restrictions restaurants are being forced to face.
Kurbside Coffee admitted they saw slow business after many restaurants and coffee shops had to move to pickup and delivery only.
“Business dipped a lot at the beginning of the pandemic, and we rode through it,” says barista Alex Sanchez. “Nowadays, more people are back in town and we’re trying to take all the precautions we can as things get busier.”
Whizzbang’s, a burger takeout restaurant, had a similar experience. They even closed down for two months during the various lockdowns, but they are starting to see improvement.
“It’s been kind of a downfall, but we’re slowly improving,” manager Ashton Johnson said. “People are starting to come in a little bit more, starting to get more food here, and it’s starting to expand our variety of foods.”
The Blasian Asian moved to Union Hall from a food truck in downtown Waco just two days before the city’s shelter in place order closed down restaurants. To their surprise, it didn’t actually hurt their business.
“Business, from the day we opened to now, unbelievably, has increased considerably,” co-owner Mike DuBose said.
Since making the jump from the food truck, the transition and the pandemic made their operating costs go up and they anticipated profits to go down. Instead, they saw growth.
“We brought five employees with us, and that was our original five, not anticipating the level of growth we’ve been experiencing,” DuBose said. “Now, somewhere around six months later, we have 20 employees just to be able to keep up with the volume that we’re getting.”
DuBose and his wife Chevy, the other co-owner, say they have people coming from all over Texas to try their authentic Cambodian food, a cuisine elusive in the rest of Central Texas.
They even hinted at opening a second, larger location to fill the need.
“Just look for the Blasian Asian to grow sometime soon,” DuBose said.