Restaurants: ‘We want this pandemic to go away’

Business

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Restaurants in Multnomah and Clackamas counties can now only offer limited outdoor dining and takeout while those in neighboring Washington County can still operate at 25% capacity.

Governor Kate Brown made the decision to move 15 of Oregon’s 36 counties back into the Extreme Risk category starting Friday as new COVID cases surge.

The tightened restrictions mean restaurants cannot offer indoor dining and outdoor dining is capped at 100 people. So some restaurants like Marco’s Cafe in Southwest Portland’s Multnomah Village extended their outdoor dining by adding more tables, tents and heaters in the parking lot.

But over a mile away in Washington County, the Old Market Pub & Brewery is offering limited seating inside. Owner Shelly Bigley said she knows the frustration because she has another business in Multnomah County.

The Old Market Pub & Brewery in Southwest Portland, April 30, 2021. (KOIN)

“Certainly I feel like we want this pandemic to go away,” Bigley said. “Certainly the best thing to do is everybody get vaccinated, everybody wear masks, follow all the rules. My husband and I decided it was like opening a brand new restaurant all over again: everything gets thrown at you and you have to start over again.”

The owners of Marco’s Cafe and the Old Market Pub encourage customers to support local businesses during this difficult time. Brown said she will reassess the risk levels on Tuesday, May 4.

In a letter to Brown, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and more than 80 county commissioners ask the governor to reconsider the state’s approach to virus mitigation. They say the virus is taking a grave toll on local economies.

Read the full letter below

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