A message on the website of Arepa TX in Preston Hollow. Photo courtesy of arepatx.com.

When a tornado severely damaged Arepa TX in 2019, the Latin American restaurant closed its doors indefinitely at 5940 Royal Lane. But chef Mary Ann Allen, also known as the Frugal Chef with thousands of Youtube subscribers, mentioned her plans for the restaurant’s future and discussed what the reopening might look like.

“The restaurant in Preston Hollow was doing great,” Allen told the Advocate. “And then of course the tornado came in October, and you can’t argue with that.”

Reopening Arepa TX in the neighborhood is just a waiting game, Allen said. But her plan of action is achievable and involves a few exciting changes to the restaurant’s layout.

“We want to turn the front dining room into a little Latin market with to-go food,” she mentioned. The dining room in the back would be the sit-down area.

Navigating tornado damage and a pandemic are two major setbacks for Allen and her Preston Hollow location, but she remains optimistic. “Maybe by the time we open, there won’t be any more coronavirus and we won’t have to worry about it,” she said.


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