Is COVID ‘yo-yo effect’ over? Portland truck stop hopes so

Coronavirus

Cascade Grill, Ponderosa Lounge in Jubitz Truck Stop excited for indoor dining

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At the Cascade Grill and Ponderosa Lounge in the Jubitz Truck Stop, employees are looking forward to inviting people back for indoor dining on Friday.

The Cascade Grill and Ponderosa Lounge in the Jubitz Truck Stop in Portland, May 6, 2021 (KOIN)

“I’m just excited to seeing everybody come back this weekend,” General Manager Chris Lee said. “I call it the yo-yo effect. We are a little dizzy, you know, with not knowing what to expect, if we were going to be able to open this weekend.”

But Multnomah County moving out of Extreme Risk just a week after sliding back into it is good timing for restaurants.

“We missed a lot of holidays this last year. We were able to do to-go’s, you know, during Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Lee said. “But we are happy to have the moms back in the house, for sure.”

Multnomah County will be in the High Risk category, which means limiting capacity to 25% for indoor dining. But customers and employees said that’s much better than a total shutdown.

Truckers and drivers who rely on places like the Ponderosa Lounge as a home-away-from-home and a place to get out of their trucks to relax say the news is welcome.

The Cascade Grill and Ponderosa Lounge in the Jubitz Truck Stop in Portland, May 6, 2021 (KOIN)

“They like to be there for the truckers,” said regular customer Max Mandigo. “I love it here.”

He said he’s looking forward to the reopening of the Ponderosa Lounge, which also has a bar adjacent to its dining area.

“The people you meet here, it’s all over the world, all over the country,” he said. “You never know and that’s the thing I like about Jubitz coming here. It’s always something different.”

Earlier this week Gov. Kate Brown said with Oregonians continuing to get vaccinated, she expects the state will not return to Extreme Risk again during the pandemic.

Chris Lee hopes that’s the case.

“We are hoping in more ways than one that this closes the chapter, not only just the emotional roller coaster ride, but the financial part of it as well,” he said.

Inside the Cascade Grill and Ponderosa Lounge in the Jubitz Truck Stop in Portland, May 6, 2021 (KOIN)

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