PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Restaurants, bars and theaters in Washington County prepared for a busy Friday night due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions but tighter restrictions were still in place in the next county over.
Based on data reported Friday by the Oregon Health Authority, Clackamas County needs about 6% more of the county population to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to move to the Lower Risk category.
Because the county remains in High Risk, places like Nicoletta’s Table and Marketplace in Lake Oswego are still serving most patrons outdoors. Heaters and umbrellas have kept businesses thriving, despite the challenges.
“Luckily we are still here after the last year but it’s really due to all the people you see right here — it’s our patrons and customers,” said Liane Cabot, the manager of catering and special events. Cabot said the restaurant expected to serve upwards of 150 people on Friday night.
“We can pretty much do outdoor to capacity — indoor, we are restricted to 25% of full capacity,” said co-owner Alan Newman, who added that they will be able to graduate to 50% indoor capacity once 65% of Clackamas County residents get the shot. “That will be a huge difference.”
In neighboring Washington County, businesses like West Coast Drinkery are able to seat 50% indoor capacity just in time for the weekend.
“It’s been ironic that we can have people inside 50% in Washington County but with this weather people really like to sit outside,” said owner Beth Grover.
Grover said they’ve been able to hire more employees.
“We are now doubling and looking forward to adding more this summer,” said Grover, who added that they’re looking forward to more busy Friday nights moving forward. “We have an element with the vaccination where people are really feeling hopeful and they are a lot more comfortable to be with others.”