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story.lead_photo.caption The dining room at Chappo's Pizza and Pasta on State Line Avenue is now open to 50% capacity as of today, along with all other Texas restaurants. Chappo's staff members say the drive-through window was their lifeline during the COVID-19 shutdown. Photo by Junius Stone / Texarkana Gazette.

Several Texas-side restaurants welcome the opportunity to be filled to 50 percent capacity, which takes effect today.

"Our dining room is somewhat small and it will be good to get more of our space back," said Sumer Batista, head server at Chappo's Pizza and Pasta on State Line Avenue.

"Most of our tables are blocked with 'reserved' signs or otherwise forbidden from use. However, our clientele has been understanding and supportive and even when we were at 25 percent and getting good business, we never had to turn anyone away."

Batista says the staff stayed intact throughout the restaurant shut downs.

"We had no layoffs during the shutdown," she said. "We just reduced hours and again, our savior, the drive-thru window. We are excited to get back to normal within state guidelines."

Their success at the task of surviving came down to good staff and the drive-thru window.

"The drive-thru window saved us," she said. "We had lots of traffic come through that windowand still our drive-thru window is getting enthusiastic use."

30 Burger is intensely cleaning and preparing their dining room for 50 percent occupancy.

Emily Mowery, cashier, has been fully surrounded by the preparations. But at no point was 30 Burger resting on their laurels.

"We had customers ordering our food, even in the midst of the shutdown," she said. "Delivery, curbside, drive-thru — our burgers were constantly moving."

Like most Texas-side restaurants, they have been operating their dining room capacity at 25 percent, but the 50 percent opening is today.

"We've been cleaning, putting out hand sanitizer, followed by even more cleaning," she said. "We've been letting folks know that more seats are available. Also, we're participating in the Chamber of Commerce's red ribbon campaign and have our 'We're Open!' sign out. We are looking forward to seeing the folks!"

Chappos is located at 3919 N. State Line Ave. and 30 Burger is located at 4719 Texas Blvd.

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