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ABC13 town hall Thursday to focus on saving Houston restaurants

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ABC13 Houston
ABC13 Houston

As Texas businesses work to reopen, ABC13, Houston's news leader, is hosting a one-hour town hall tonight (7-8 p.m.), exploring how to save our restaurants and help essential employees impacted financially, physically and mentally during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eyewitness News reporters Chaz Miller and Pooja Lodhia are gathering a panel of restaurant owners and Texas leaders to highlight the industry's challenges, and the possible long-term impacts to Houston's economy.

Panelists for Thursday's town hall include:

  • Chris Shepherd, James Beard award-winning chef and restaurateur
  • Janice Jucker, Three Brothers Bakery owner and president
  • Jarrett Milton, Houston Sauce Pit owner
  • Linda Salinas, beverage consultant and market manager
  • U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, Texas House District 7

More than 10,000 Texas restaurants were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 85% of Texas operators say their restaurant's profit margin is lower than it was prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Texas Restaurant Association.

Six years of restaurant growth was wiped out by the pandemic. Nationally, restaurants lost $240 billion in sales in 2020, and 2.5 million jobs have disappeared as the U.S. continues to grapple with COVID-19, according to the National Restaurant Association.

The virtual town hall will stream exclusively on, ABC13's smartphone app, and ABC13's connected TV apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Google TV. Just search "ABC13 Houston."

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