VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Dwayne Christensen, the co-owner of Vancouver’s Uptown Barrel Room, got COVID-19 after traveling to Las Vegas. He doesn’t want any of his guests or staff to go through what he went through, so he is going above and beyond the “no mask, no service” mandate from Gov. Jay Inslee.
“When it comes from the top down it definitely helps us drive that message a little bit easier when we’re having that conversation with our guest,” Christensen said in support of Inslee’s directive. “But at the same time I want to protect the people in here because these are all my family and friends in here.”
Most people come in with masks, but he has encountered a guest who refused.
“You just have to reason with them and explain to them the best you can and if they don’t accept it,” he said, his voice trailing. “I would never put anybody in jeopardy especially with how fast this thing has been going in Clark County in the past few weeks. Definitely want to put a press on it. If they can’t understand it, that’s the rule.”
The bartender at the Tip Top Tavern told KOIN 6 News there are a lot of people who come in who don’t want to wear a mask. But she said she has no issue telling people it’s mandated, equating it to requiring an ID to get a drink.
The owner of an antique shop on Main Street said it doesn’t bother him to require masks. He only wishes more resources would have been put toward more hospital beds.
Christensen said there’s already been a couple instances of COVID outbreaks at bars in Vancouver, forcing them to shut down again. That’s why he’s doing everything he can to keep people safe.
But even though he’s been able to weather this storm so far, he said if he had to shut down for 2 weeks he’s not sure he could make it.