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Houston's boil water notice leaves businesses high and dry

Numerous businesses stayed closed Monday, meaning those looking for a cup of coffee or a quick bite to eat have been out of luck.

HOUSTON — Houston businesses are feeling the impact after a citywide boil water notice led to many cafes and coffee shops closing for the day.

Places like the Starbucks on Chimney Rock and Richmond and some Chick-Fil-A locations remained closed out of precaution.


Inside Harold's, in the Heights, it was pretty much business as usual Monday, but owner Alli Jarrett had to make quite a few changes since the notice took effect.

“Lots of moving parts with water and can't take it for granted that’s for sure," Jarrett said.

She's had over a thousand pounds of ice delivered and was in line at 7 a.m. Monday at a local warehouse buying canned sodas and dozens of cases of bottled water.

But Jarrett, who also owns another restaurant, Low Tide Kitchen & Bar in Spring Branch, said that was just a start. She and her employees have needed to modify everything from cooking to washing hands and dishes.

“I think we are nimble and get into action and try to find solutions to our problems because we have them and we've got to make sure that we can open up," Jarrett says.

Some businesses are fairing better than others, including one cafe that's been around since 1977.

French Riviera Bakery Cafe on Chimney Rock invested in its water filtration system last year. John Wu, who's an assistant manager at the cafe, said they researched and invested in it after growing frustrations with other boil water notices they went through every year.

RELATED: Houston mayor gives timeline of power failure that led to citywide boil water notice

"We already had a water filtration system in place the way the plumber set it up," Wu said. "We just had to add the UV light in front of it. We can continue to operate and not hurt our bottom line and it keeps our staff working as well."

Wu said they spent about $6,000 installing the filtration and UV sterilizer.

Meanwhile, Kroger said 30 of their stores in the area have been affected by the advisory. Their distribution center is dispatching trucks every few minutes to restock stores in the area, with priority going to stores within the city limits.

H-E-B also placed temporary limits on water products at all H-E-B, Central Market, Mi Tienda and Joe V's.

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