By Robbie Owens

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Changes are coming to Trinity Groves in Dallas. The foodie destination will no longer act as an incubator for up-and-coming chefs.

But, owners say new concepts are coming in spite of COVID-19. And they’re grateful that customers keep coming out — or picking up — as well.

“This is our first venture coming into the city, dining out,” said Daniel Nix, leaving lunch with co-workers at Beto & Son. “And it was a good one.”

Whether it’s dining outdoors to accommodate social distancing, or hand sanitizing stations on site, dining out in Dallas looks different now.

“There has to be a patio. Very important fact. To have the open air,” said Mark Wolfe. “Outside, separated by more than six feet. Very safe.”

Whether at Trinity Groves, or elsewhere in the city, survival often has turned on an operators’ ability to pivot quickly when faced when pandemic challenges.

“We sat down as a family, and said `we just got to make sure we are here to see another year’,” said Julian Rodarte, chef owner at Beto & Son. “We didn’t expect to have business booming the way it is. We really expected to be struggling the entire year.”

Rodarte says his staff right now is both busy–and grateful– for how far they’ve come since March.

“We were only doing 1% on takeout before the shutdown, and now we’re up to 30% of our business doing takeout,” said Rodarte, “so we have grown exponentially, doing takeout and that was a huge part of our survival.”

Others, too, have gotten creative to keep serving customers and to keep them safe.

“Here recently, we installed a vending machine because we reduced our hours,” said Tracy German, owner of Cake Bar. “It’s an old sandwich machine that they refurbished. The idea is to fill it when we close. Some people who want to, just get out of their car and run up and get a cake. They don’t want to wait. So it’s contactless, it takes cash and it takes credit cards.”

The area has seen restaurants close, so customer support is still critical.

“These folks are trying to make a living like everybody else,” said Scott Powell, after enjoying lunch at Trinity Groves. “So we are here to support as much as we can.”

And the restaurants know that they can’t make it without those loyal customers.

“They’re the only reason we made it through that shutdown period,” said Rodarte. “And not only that: they are still supporting us. They’re the only reason we still have a roof over all of our heads.”