Meet The North Texans Out And About On The State's Reopening Day | KERA News

Meet The North Texans Out And About On The State's Reopening Day

May 1, 2020

Texas began reopening Friday with restaurant patrons gravitating toward patios and sparsely filled shopping malls. Photographer Allison V. Smith and KERA News reporter Bill Zeeble spent the day documenting how North Texans are getting out and about.

The breezy, sunny day helped encourage eating outside in the shade at Dream Café in Dallas. 

A waiter takes an order from one of Dream Cafe's first outdoor patio customers.
Credit Allison V. Smith / For KERA News

Susan Washerlesky, a now out-of-work dental hygienist, came to eat with daughter Ryleigh, who’s home early from college in Corpus Christi, thanks to the pandemic.

“We were just ready to get back to normalcy, I think,” Washerlesky said. “And it’s a beautiful day.” 

El Fenix hostess Bridget Vega and manager Ray Miranda wait to greet customers at their Casa Linda location.
Credit Allison V. Smith / KERA News

Dallas staple El Fenix also reopened to dine-in customers. Photographer Allison V. Smith captured staff dutifully waiting for customers at the Casa Linda location.

NorthPark Center decided to open with limited hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.
Credit Allison V. Smith / For KERA News

NorthPark Center was one of the malls that reopened with reduced hours, and only the Park Lane and Northwest Highway entrances were open.

Hunger Busters on Sylvan Avenue is offering free lunches to Dallas school students. Here, Derrick Hill of Hunger Busters accepts food donations in West Dallas.
Credit Allison V. Smith / For KERA News

New COVID-19 deaths in Texas declined Friday, the day Republican Gov. Greg Abbott lifted stay-at-home orders. That came a day after 50 people died in Texas, a single-day record since the pandemic began.

IRC employees Isabella Chamberlain and Elena Olidinchuk deliver free food for families to the TBK Bank Plaza in Vickery Meadows.
Credit Allison V. Smith / For KERA News

More than 120 people have died over the past three days in the state, the worst stretch since the first Texas coronavirus diagnosis in March. Abbott eased restrictions because, he said, hospitalizations remain steady and infection rates are down. 

First United Lutheran Church on Mockingbird remains closed, offering services online.
Credit Allison V. Smith / For KERA News

Gov. Abbott stressed earlier in the week that no business included in the first phase of his plan was required to open, and that other sectors, including gyms, barber shops and salons, must stay closed for at least the next few weeks.

Got a tip? Email Bill Zeeble at Follow him on Twitter @bzeeble. Follow Allison V. Smith on Instagram @avose.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.