OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — From the pandemic to the wildfires, to the latest ice storm, it’s been a challenging year for Alberto Garcia, co-owner and general manager of Bistro Cubano Caribbean Cuisine on Main Street in Oregon City.
“We weren’t open very long when we first opened at the end of 2019, we were doing well and then COVID happened,” Garcia said.
But Garcia said he is ready to move forward.
Restaurants in Washington and Clackamas County were cut loose Friday from some COVID-19 restrictions, allowing them to expand indoor dining capacity to 50%.
This will be a huge step for some restaurant owners, who said outdoor dining during the winter months didn’t take off as they hoped. The last reopening milestone was also a bust they said because of the ice storm.
Roy Galvan, owner of Mesa Fresca in Oregon City said he hopes Friday “is the first day of change.”
Kyle Bradfield, owner of Mi Famiglia Wood Oven Pizzeria in Oregon City is looking forward to seeing his regular customers again. A family restaurant, Bradfield said his business is meant to be a sit-down restaurant.
“That’s a really fantastic thing for us,” he said. “We get to connect with them on a personal level”
Beth Grover, who owns West Coast Drinkery and Pizzeria on Southwest Scholls Ferry Road said she was ecstatic when she learned she could start serving pies again indoors at 50% capacity.
“This is something I really didn’t think was going to happen as soon as it did,” she said.
She has welcomed back more staff too, some of whom have been away since November. She is even thinking about hiring more people.
At the Stockpot Broiler in Beaverton, owner Murray Miller is pleased to get the “wheels rolling again.”
“It’s just good that we’re open and we are fielding calls now,” he said. “People are excited to get out. Even including my wife and I. We’ve been out twice now, so that’s kind of a treat.”
Business owners in Multnomah County meanwhile told KOIN 6 News that they are a little frustrated that they can only have indoor dining at 25% capacity. They said they hope restrictions are eased for Multnomah County soon.