PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland restaurants are adjusting to tighter indoor dining restrictions Wednesday as Multnomah County’s Two-Week Pause begins. One restaurant owner said he fears the new restrictions could drop his business by about 25%.
Jim Rice, owner of Fields Bar and Grill, said he’s had to limit his seating even further under Gov. Kate Brown’s Two-Week Pause.
“It reduces our capacity from about 58 seats to about 50 and it reduces us with our employees down to about 42 seats,” he said.
In addition to less seating, customers are limited to parties of six rather than 10. Rice said the news about the number of rising cases in Oregon has also caused customers to dine out less often.
“We saw about a 23% reduction of people coming in, rightfully, because they are trying to social distance and they are seeing that bars and restaurants are a challenge,” he said.
Some restaurant patrons told KOIN 6 News they’re aware of the increasing number of cases and say they’ve been sticking to outdoor patios when they do venture out.
“Definitely, we’ve been staying outside to eat. So, it looks like there are a lot of them with heat lamps and outdoor stuff, so that’s fun. We’ll try to support them as much as we can,” said Julie, a Portland restaurant patron.
Rice said The Fields Bar and Grill will offer special Thanksgiving meals to go on on Turkey Day. He hopes people will consider ordering from a favorite restaurant this year to give small businesses a bit of a boost.
“So many restaurants right now are struggling… As you start thinking about all the restaurants in the area, if they are providing to-go orders for Thanksgiving, to help support them because that might be the only way they make rent this month,” Rice said.
He said anyone interested in a special Thanksgiving dinner from his restaurant should order it about four days in advance.