Portland restaurant temporarily shuts down amid COVID rise

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“We want to make sure that we’re not responsible for spreading the virus as much as possible"

The 1905, a restaurant in North Portland, is shutting down for a week due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the community and staff starting Jan. 4. (Courtesy Photo: Andrew Wallner)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A restaurant in Portland is closing its doors for the time being due to a rise in COVID-19 cases hitting staff and the community.

The 1905, a restaurant and jazz club in North Portland, announced on its Instagram on Jan. 4 that it would close “for the safety of guests, musicians, and staff.”

KOIN 6 News spoke with one of the owners who said the short break will help those who are not feeling well have a chance to recover.

“We want to make sure that we’re not responsible for spreading the virus as much as possible,” said Aaron Barnes, part-owner of The 1905.

He added that some employees tested positive over the holidays and have not come back since. With limited staff prior to the pandemic, Barnes said having staff out sick makes it difficult to run the business.

“It was about safety first. There’s part of me that’s like, ‘Well, I can do a bunch, and I can ask other staff to work extra’… but I have to think about the long term consequences of what I’m asking,” Barnes said. “The burnout or the risk that they’re being put in.”

The restaurant has canceled every jazz performance for the next week, but Barnes created a GoFundMe to said he plans to create a GoFundMe to offset the losses for his staff.

“There are a lot of people who won’t qualify for unemployment because we’re not talking about a long-term furlough or layoff,” he added. “So, helping our employees and musicians who are otherwise out of work maintain a roof and food.”

The 1905 hopes to reopen again on Wednesday, Jan. 12 – if conditions allow.

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