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Tuesday, Dec. 22, 1998

More Texas restaurants open for Christmas

But the king of all holidays, in terms of dining out, is still Mother's Day

By JEFF TOMICH
Staff Writer

   More restaurants are staying open for the Christmas holidays, according to a survey by the Texas Restaurant Association.
   According to the poll, two-thirds of Texas restaurants will be open Christmas Eve and about 13 percent will be serving food on Christmas Day.
   "Only a few years ago, nearly every restaurant in Texas was closed Christmas Day," said association spokeswoman Denise Grasso.
   Ninety-two percent of restaurants surveyed will be open New Year's Eve, and nearly half of those will offer a special menu to usher in 1999.
   According to the association, New Year's Eve is the busiest holiday for 15 percent of Texas restaurants surveyed. Ten percent said Christmas Eve is their busiest.
   The king of all holidays in the restaurant business is still Mother's Day. Thirty percent of restaurant owners said the second Sunday in May is their busiest holiday of the year.
   

New businesses


   Corpus Christi lawyer Thomas J. Henry has opened The Martini Bar at Everhart Park Shopping Center, said Jeannette Stevens, vice president of Landlord Resources Inc.
   The bar opened Dec. 11 in 2,160 square feet at Everhart Road and Saratoga Boulevard, but will expand by another 1,500 square feet at the end of the month.
   Cali Nails has opened its third location, a 2,550-square-foot shop, in Corpus Christi at Weber Square shopping center, 5800 Weber Road, Stevens said.
   

Holiday sales


   Sales at the nation's malls rose 4.5 percent during the second week of December compared with the same period last year, the International Council of Shopping Centers reports.
   "Since the weather has returned to its normal seasonal pattern, the sales momentum we have been expecting has begun," said John Konarski, senior vice president of research for the shopping center trade association.
   Sales increased in all but one merchandise category, led by 9.1 percent increases in jewelry and home furnishings. Only footwear sales are down slightly from 1997.
   The report reflects revenues from 2,500 speciality stores at 48 regional malls across the country. It does not include data from Padre Staples Mall or Sunrise Mall, but is considered a barometer of sales trends nationwide.
   On Retailing is published each Tuesday in the Staff Writer business section and includes information on new, relocated and expanded businesses and retail trends. Items for consideration should be submitted to: On Retailing, Corpus Christi Staff Writer, P.O. Box 9136, Corpus Christi, Texas 78469; e-mail Jeffrey Tomich at tomichj@scripps.com; fax items to (512) 886-3732; or call (512) 886-4316.
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  © 1998 Corpus Christi Caller Times, a Scripps Howard newspaper. All rights reserved.


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