A series spotlighting locally-owned restaurants adjusting to the pandemic
Steven and Corina Alaniz want to continue their support of local students and residents through these trying times.
The couple opened Brick Fire Pizza & Inferno Patio Bar in 2017 with the intention of serving great food and bringing the community together. An establishment with a build-your-own-pizza focus and a fully-stocked bar, Brick Fire was host to a variety of live entertainment every day before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What we miss the most is our Winter Texans, every Monday they would pack the house,” Corina Alaniz, Brick Fire Pizza Manager, said. “That was our biggest-selling day, believe it or not, Mondays.”
“It happened extremely quickly,” Alaniz added, referring to the swift change in protocol implemented by the county. “It was from one Monday to the next.”
The Alaniz’s knew that some of their employees may be hesitant to continue working during the crisis, so they assured them that when it was over, their jobs would be waiting for their return.
“We are blessed, we gave our employees the option from day one,” Alaniz said. “They were not fired, they were not laid off, their job will be secure when this is all over.”
The transition from dine-in to solely drive-thru has been difficult, according to Alaniz.
“At the beginning it was all trial and error, we didn’t even know what to expect,” Alaniz said. “But we got into the routine finally, we got a flow going.”
Things have been busy at Brick Fire, so much so that they had to open a second phone line to ensure every customer gets their order taken.
Giving back to the community is their top priority. Last Friday, Brick Fire held special open hours from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. for all first responders and hospital employees working graveyard shifts.
The restaurant often holds spirit nights (usually every other week) for athletics, mariachis, choirs, chess clubs and all extracurricular activities offered at local school districts like the Mission CISD – at those events, 20 percent of the profits go directly to them. Brick Fire is also a popular sponsor for athletes and clubs in local school districts.
“We just love giving back to the community and giving back to these kids,” Alaniz said. “This is what our city is about, our kids. We always do sponsorships and fundraisers.”
The restaurant offers the same daily specials their patrons are used to, and have begun implementing family packs for speedy pick-ups. Because they house a bar with a full liquor license, their cocktails to-go have been quite popular.
“People can order them as long as they order food,” Alaniz said. “You can order chips, you can order a salad – as long as you order any food, you can order cocktails – and we have amazing, different cocktails to-go.”
Alaniz wanted residents to know that the staff and management at Brick Fire have been keeping everything sanitary and safe during this crisis.
“We want everyone to know we are there for them,” Alaniz said. “We want everyone to be 100 percent certain that we are extremely cautious with everything: we deep-clean our restaurant every night, and our staff wears gloves the proper way.”
“I’ve stocked up on gloves because I tell our employees that once they touch anything else, they have to throw them away and put another set on,” Alaniz added.
Brick Fire Pizza is offering free delivery to Mission residents, and is also available for delivery through GrubHub and Bite Squad. They can be reached over the phone at (956) 998-3473 or (956) 766-7771.