After our recent survey of how Houston restaurants are approaching open carry, we wondered how restaurants in other Texas cities were handling the issue.
Back in 2013, Katharine Shilcutt, with the help of several other respected journalists, compiled a list of 30 Essential Restaurants In Texas. For our survey, we sampled most of that list.
One thing is very clear: even though the Open Carry law has been in effect for almost two weeks, many restaurant employees not only have no idea what their employers’ policies are—they don't even know what Open Carry is.
Some restaurants haven't decided yet. Others right here in Houston have repeatedly refused to go on-record for fear of unwanted attention.
Here is how each restaurant responded to an anonymous phone call with the question, “Do you allow open carry?” We’ve grouped by Yes, No and Maybe. There were a whole lot of “No” answers, so those are also categorized by city.
Yes, Open Carry Is Allowed
Babe's Chicken Dinner House, 104 North Oak, Roanoke
The young lady who answered the phone didn’t know and had to put us on hold. She soon returned to say, “Yes ma’am, we do actually allow it.”
Biga on the Banks, 203 South Saint Mary's Street
“You know, I haven’t heard anything about it yet. Just a moment.” (puts call on hold) “We do have signs up stating what the law is. We do allow it unless we decide otherwise.”
Gaido's, 3800 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston
“Right now, we currently allow open carry.” Updated 1/13/2016, 10:47 p.m.: We have received notice from Gaido's that the employee we spoke with was misinformed. Gaido's is NOT allowing open carry and management says they have since educated their employees on the policy.
Sartin's Seafood Restaurant, 3520 Nederland Avenue, Nederland
“Yes ma’am, as far as I know, we would.”
No, Open Carry Is Not Allowed
Green Pastures, 811 West Live Oak Street, Austin
“There are no firearms allowed on property and we have a sign posted.”
Kreuz Market, 619 North Colorado Street, Lockhart
“No, we’re not allowing open carry except by law enforcement. We have signs going up next week.”
Louie Mueller BBQ, 206 West 2nd Street, Taylor
“Let me check and see on that. Hold on a minute for me.”
(returns to phone) “At this time, we are not allowing open carry because we want to maintain a friendly environment. We do allow concealed carry.”
Cattlemen's Steakhouse, 2458 North Main Street, Fort Worth
Young lady answers, “Um, let me go see what that is.” (Puts call on hold.) Gentleman comes to the phone. “With this being a family restaurant, the owners decided to not allow open carry but you are welcome to concealed carry.”
Fearing's, 2121 McKinney, Dallas
“No ma’am, we do not.”
El Fenix, 1601 McKinney, Dallas
“Carry out? Is this to go? Oh. Hold on a second.” (puts call on hold)
(Man comes to the phone.) “Can I help you?” (I ask the question again.) “Oh. Hang on one second.” (puts call on hold)
Third man answers to say open carry is not allowed.
The Mansion on Turtle Creek, 2821 Turtle Creek Boulevard, Dallas
“What do you mean? Oh, the open carry on handguns? No, we’re not.”
Tei-An, 1722 Routh Street, Dallas
“Open carry? What do you mean?” (I explain about the law that went into effect on January 1.) “Uh, no.” (hangs up on me)
Uchi, 801 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin
“No, we are opting out of open carry. There is a sign up.”
Gaido's, 3800 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston (Added 1/13/2016, 10:49 p.m. See note above.)
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, 5839 Westheimer, Houston
“Unfortunately, ma’am, we do not.”
Tony's, 3755 Richmond, Houston
North of Austin
The Big Texan Steak Ranch, 7701 I-40 East, Amarillo
“We do not allow open carry but we do allow concealed carry.”
Blue Bonnet Café, 211 Highway 281, Marble Falls
“You mean for weapons? No, we’re not.”
Mi Tierra, 218 Produce Row, San Antonio
Ray's Drive Inn, 822 Southwest 19th Street, San Antonio
Gilhooley's, 222 9th Street, Dickinson
“I don’t believe so. I’ve been meaning to talk to the boss about that. Can you call back tomorrow?”
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Joe T. Garcia's, 2201 North Commerce Street, Fort Worth
“Right now, I think you can bring it in as long as we can’t see it. I’m not sure of the rules.”
Smitty's Market, 208 South Commerce Street, Lockhart
“No ma’am, not at the present time. I don’t have signs up because I need to ask the better half what she wants to do about it.”