MultCo High Risk is ‘kick in stomach’ to bars, restaurants

Coronavirus

Bars near Providence Park counted on big crowds on game day

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Bars and restaurants near Providence Park are excited to see the Portland Thorns return to the pitch Friday night.

But the new COVID restrictions now that Multnomah County is back in the High Risk category put a damper on the excitement.

Amy Nichols, who owns The Cheerful Bullpen, said it’s been an extremely difficult year. They had to convert part of the bar into a store just to survive. Thorns games typically bring in a big crowd, so they stocked up on food and scheduled more employees.

Amy Nichols, the owner of The Cheerful Bullpen in Portland, April 9, 2021 (KOIN)

But now, with the smaller indoor dining capacity, they can have only 20 people at the most.

“We now have an overstock of food. I had to call off multiple staff. So now more employees don’t have employment tonight,” Nichols told KOIN 6 News. “It’s just one more kick in the stomach.”

It’s much the same at the Goose Hollow Inn. Their indoor dining isn’t yet open but they have a large outdoor area. The new restrictions mean they can only have 75 people instead of 100.

Losing 25 customers on a game day can really impact their bottom line, especially after a year that’s been so tough.

Rachel Clark manages The Goose Hollow Inn in Portland, April 9, 2021 (KOIN)

“I’m not surprised. I’m just a little disappointed,” said Goose Hollow Inn Manager Rachel Clark. “I honestly don’t think that our reduction of 25 people out here is going to make that big of a difference in terms of the safety protocols.”

They figured they were closed for about one-third of the year so they are ready to make up for lost time. They hope people continue following the COVID guidelines so they can get back to more capacity as soon as possible.

The Cheerful Bullpen near Providence Park in Portland, April 9, 2021 (KOIN)

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