East Texas vineyard re-opens after being closed since mid-March

East Texas vineyard re-opens after being closed since mid-March

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Many restaurants in Texas have been able to increase capacity from 50 percent to 75 percent.

Just over a week ago Governor Greg Abbott announced the plans to allow restaurants to expand indoor dining capacity.

The Naca Valley Vineyard in Nacogdoches celebrated their grand reopening this past weekend, after being closed since mid-March due to COVID-19. In order to reopen they have submitted various paperwork to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and have to 51 percent of their sales be from food.

“You have to provide projections of the food sales, and you had to provide pictures of the food prep area, and you had to provide menus with prices and all of that kind of stuff. And also protocols for how we are handling COVID,” said owner, Chelsea Mouton.

The vineyard is partnering with Andy’s Cookery and Catering, a local vendor, to meet the food sales rule.

“Their business is primarily catering to large events out of state, and those events aren’t happening right now,” Mouton said. “So it just worked out great that we were able to come together and make two local businesses, and two local families be able to collaborate and pull this off.”

Mouton said they’ve moved all of the seating inside to the outside and added eight new tables to create more seating, and have spaced them all out. She says they are a family friendly venue.

“It’s so exciting to be able to come back because we love coming here, it’s the best family place and then they closed and we were not able to come. And what do you do with your family?” said customer Monica Stokes. “You’re all cooped up in the house for so long and my daughter missed coming out here so it’s been really exciting being able to come back.”

Stokes said the landscaping is new and helps to section and space out the seating.

“I felt safe coming out, we don’t actually venture out a whole lot, but with this being outdoors, it’s outdoors, they’re actively sanitizing and cleaning as you’re here,” Stokes said. “So it was really refreshing to be able to do that and not have to worry about infection control too.”

The owner tells us that they have cancelled their out of town events for fall but will still be hosting events at the vineyard for families and individuals.

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