It was impossible to get a vehicle to Preston Road and Royal Lane on Monday morning after a tornado ripped through North Dallas on Sunday evening.
Streets are covered with broken electrical and telephone wires, retail stores lost windows and roofs, and restaurants in the area are closed without power. The southeast corner of the intersection saw major damage, while somehow the exterior of Neighborhood Services Bar and Grill appears spared, based on aesthetics.
Fish City Grill, in the same part of that intersection, had a much worse experience.
"There's no roof ... the dining room is demolished, you can't get to the back of the restaurant to see what that looks like," says restaurant owner Bill Bayne. "I want to give a shout-out to our general manager who had the presence of mind, when everyone was feeling their ears pop and you realized a tornado was about to hit, he got everyone into the walk-in, about 12 people, mostly team members and some customers, so they were all safe."
One of his bartenders, Gloria, also realized an older gentleman was still in the dining room. She helped him move toward the walk-in, but only got to the cooks' line when the tornado hit. Lowering to the ground, they were left unscathed, as well.
But now business owners aren't actually surveying their damage personally.
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"Our center took a direct hit," he says. "Everything right now is up to the landlord. The landlord is determining if the structure is structurally sound: No tenants are able to get into the buildings at this point."
On the north side of the intersection, things were quieter — without power but also appearing with fewer damages. Royal China had a busy signal when we tried to call earlier, and no one answered the door of the closed restaurant.
TJ's Fresh Seafood Market and Grill was spared: The staff hid in the walk-in, and everyone was safe.