Oregon bars, venues gear up to welcome customers again

Coronavirus

Bars open till 2 a.m., entertainment venues have shows again

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Jon Poteet thinks it’s going to take some time for the public to get back to feeling comfortable in 100% occupancy scenarios.

That’s why Poteet, who owns the Shine Distillery Grill, won’t go back to full capacity immediately. They will do away with mask requirements, though. He said he’s excited to see faces again and for people to breathe easier in hot restaurant environment.

Bars being open till 2 a.m. will boost their bottom line, he said.

“One of the great joys that’s going to come from this, for us as a distillery, is that a lot of our clientele is the offsite bars which we sell to through the state of Oregon,” Poteet said. “They’re going to be open later, so our bar business as a distillery is going to pick up.”

Staying open later will also help the neighborhood bars, he said, and predicts restaurants will keep spacing table further apart for a while as we all get used to being near strangers again.

Like many restaurants, staffing has been an issue for the past month or two. But Poteet said employment is picking back up and they’re looking forward to hosting people for the holiday weekend on their patio and in their dining room.

Live entertainment is back

The staff at Dante’s and Star Theater in Portland’s Old Town said they’ve been busy with reopening. They’re trying to get staff back and trained, removing signage and guards for the physical restrictions they put in place for the past 15 months.

Show venues like Dante’s are looking forward to things feeling more normal again, with people being able to go out and enjoy live events without masks and distancing.

Masks are optional at Dante’s and Star Theater. Overall, the venues are ramping up for a busy summer.

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