Preston Hollow People September 2020

Page 32

32 September 2020 |



TOP LEFT: The staff at Sevy’s Grill wears masks, and owner Amy Severson said that they will also offer them to guests as well. TOP RIGHT: Heat at home family meals are one of the ways TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market & Grill responded to restaurant closures and reduced capacity during the pandemic. (COURTESY PHOTOS)

By Bethany Erickson People Newspapers


hen Sevy’s Grill — like all other restaurants — had to close in March, it also had to face trying to retain longtime employees (and often favorites of regular diners) and remain afloat. To say the situation was precarious would be an egregious understatement. To say the situation isn’t still precarious would be even more so. At the time, Jim “Sevy” Severson announced the restaurant’s temporary closure on Facebook, and also shared something else — they were going to try to help their now furloughed employees while they waited to return. “While our staff ‘stays at home,’ we will continue to pay them $100 weekly for basic needs and (provide a) food bag of essentials,” he said.

The concern over being able to manage finances and keep employees led many local favorites to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, which is administered by the Small Business Administration. The SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Severson’s wife, Amy, who coowns the restaurant, said that she is certain almost every restaurant in town is worried about the next few months as restaurants operate at 50% capacity. “I think you’re gonna find when this all washes out, like most things, there’s gonna be a few people who abuse it, but the rest of us just were trying to legitimately stay viable, and our whole mantra in our industry all over this United States right now is, ‘Can I make it through the next payroll cycle?’” she said. “Believe me, the day we got funded, boom, our guys

were back in the kitchen prepping food to reopen.” The restaurant began offering curbside to-go options soon after. DIVE Coastal Cuisine owner Franchesca Nor said that protecting and supporting her staff is among the hardest parts of running a restaurant during a pandemic.

Every day is a new challenge. Franchesca Nor “Making sure your staff is healthy to work, making sure we are following all procedures all of the time to stop the spread. Supporting your staff when and if they do test positive, preventing other staff to test positive, continuing to have strict standards in your policy with your staff. In our case, giving

them job security no matter what,” she listed as she talked about the hard parts, along with changing the concept for their dining, as well as marketing approaches, and sourcing products to stay consistent. “Every day is a new challenge,” she said. For TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market & Grill owner Jon Alexis, the pandemic closures hit just as their Preston Royal location was really hitting its stride again after weeks of closures following the October 2019 tornado. “The Preston Hollow community has been incredible. They have supported TJ’s through not only the tornado, but now this,” he said, but said that didn’t mean it wasn’t hard. “Completely changing our business model every few weeks (was one of the hard parts),” he said. “No sizable restaurant in America was set up to become a to-go commissary!”

Franchesca Nor owns DIVE Coastal Cuisine.

S TAY I N T H E K N O W See more of our conversations with the owners of Sevy’s Grill, TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market & Grill, and DIVE Coastal Cuisine at

Stone Boutique Veterans Seek To Innovate With Dallas Showroom

Acostas explore contemporary design, use technology to provide digital renderings of home remodeling jobs

By Rachel Snyder People Newspapers

Longtime Dallas stone business veterans Margarita and Francisco Acosta, who own Stone Boutique in the Dallas Design District, have 30 years of experience in the industry and now offer a new proprietary software system that allows customers to see a rendering of their products in their job. “We invented a proprietary software system that we recently got a patent on where we do the whole process in a digital way, where you are coming to our showroom...and we allow you to sort all of our inventory,” Francisco said. “Every single item, product, that we have is available to be viewed in detail, alongside any other product, in any position that you want to see it. And then, what we do is we do a rendering while you’re there, we can do a rendering of your job, of your house, and overlay the selections that you have made into your particular job.

He added that they enjoy working on Is there a particular stone that you guys contemporary designs of late. like to incorporate in home design that “We really like working with design- people may not think of off the top of their ers that are very creative heads? We have about a and have a different style couple hundred differthat (isn’t) cookie cutter,” ent stones that you can Francisco said. “Right purchase. People somenow, there’s a lot of contemporary looks that we times come here with an idea because they have really enjoy doing. Minimalistic with some very seen something that they like and then, when clean lines and clean designs, and we like to do we start showing them that kind of work.” more products, they start Do you have a favorite opening their eyes. They project in the Park Cities realize that there’s a lot or Preston Hollow neighmore choices out there Francisco and Margarita Acosta borhoods? than what they originally We recently also just finished a big home thought there were. Because we’re able to rein Preston Hollow. It was a big remodel produce or replicate how the area would look home, and we also used about 14 different using a certain stone, the clients are not realtypes of stones in the job...these customers ly having to have this visual capacity to say, that we deal with are looking for something ‘I’m looking at this slab in a horizontal way special. They want to have something that is or a vertical way and I’m going to put it in my unique, that has (an) incredible look. fireplace...I cannot really see that.’ Well, we

are able to show them all that with our system, and that takes away all the uncertainty. Are there trends you guys are seeing in terms of interior design? Well, you know, we have been in a 10 year run, a 15 year run on whites...but we see that some colors are coming into play that were not actively looked for before. There’s an increase, I think, in demand for green...I also see some pink, I also see some gray, and darker colors--black and dark grays are also coming back. Is there something that makes Dallas a particularly good place to be for interior designers? Dallas has a phenomenal community of interior designers with some incredibly talented designers that we love working with. We do some work here in Dallas with architects from New York and San Francisco areas that do some projects here, but, more often, we see architects from Dallas doing projects outside Dallas than architects from other places doing work here. I think Dallas is a very dynamic city. There’s great diversity.

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