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North Texas restaurants fear they won't make it after winter storm damage and pandemic

Only 5% of North Texas restaurants opened this week because of storm and water issues. Some fear mom and pop places won't survive this and the pandemic.

FORT WORTH, Texas — They are barely making it through the coronavirus pandemic and this week, many restaurants had to shut down again. 

Mary Perez owns Enchilada's Ole in Fort Worth and North Richland Hills.

"We weren't able to open our North Richland Hills location because of a water boil ban,” said Perez.

Most water boil orders won't allow restaurants to open because it's not safe. 

Jon Bonnell owns several restaurants in Fort Worth.

"It comes down to hand washing, things that come through coke machines that is city water supply, iced tea, coffee. Anything hooks up to water and hand washing is especially a big one,” said Bonnell.

Bonnell said only about 5% of restaurants in D-FW were able to open this week.

Perez said she's lost a lot of business.

"Valentine’s Day both locations closed, and this whole week we weren't able to open. Seventy-five to $100,000 between both restaurants,” said Perez.

As a result of not being able to open, most restaurants lost their inventory and had to throw away food. Health rules don’t allow restaurants to give away uncooked food.

"You just can't keep it. So, you have to start new when you re-open,” said Perez.

Perez said she was able to open her Fort Worth location Friday. The water is fine and the power is restored. 

“Not only open for business, we are open for families and people who have gone without food and water this whole week,” said Perez.

Perez and Bonnell have both opened one of their restaurants, and now are giving food away to those who are in need. 

"We made 13,000 sandwiches for the Presbyterian Night Shelter because the kitchen was out overnight, when power went out for a couple of days,” said Bonnell.

Some local mom and pop places won't make it through both the pandemic and the brutal winter storm, so restaurant owners are asking people to support the small independent restaurants. They hope maybe just maybe they can survive.