Garden Café

Garden Cafe is applying for a rezoning permit to sell beer and wine to supplement profits as it remains closed because of the coronavirus.

The restaurant at 5310 Junius St. has been an East Dallas staple for nearly two decades. But even before the pandemic, the eatery was struggling financially, owner Mark Wootton said in an email.

“As is often lamented, restaurants are known for having quite a slim profit margin,” he said. “On top of that, when you’re dedicated to sourcing as many local, high-quality ingredients as possible, and making sure your team is paid fairly and equitably, it makes it even harder to keep a penny or two off the dollar you bring in.”

The owner has considered numerous options for the future, including closing the restaurant’s doors. For now, the idea is to make updates that will increase profits and keep the eatery going for a while longer.

Garden Cafe is not applying for a late-night hours permit. It would not have an open bar, and it would not sell liquor. Rather, staff would serve wine with dinner or a mimosa with Sunday brunch before neighbors take a leisurely stroll home to Munger Place, Swiss Avenue, Junius Heights or one of the surrounding neighborhoods.

“With that, we can continue to reinvest in ourselves, the neighborhood we love and the community we’ve found for another two decades,” Wootton said. “We hope you’ll support us in this move for our ongoing viability.”

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