Says some restaurants and bars are following the rules, but others aren''t
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Since Phase 1 of Gov. Kate Brown’s reopening plan began last Friday, the owner of three closed restaurants in Deschutes County said some bars and breweries in town are not following the guidelines.
“The playing field is not level,” Greg Farfaglia told NewsChannel 21 Friday.
Farfaglia owns Wallow Bar & Grill in Sunriver, South Side Pub in Bend and is a part-owner of the Tumble Inn Tavern in Redmond. None of his three restaurants have reopened yet, but that will happen next week.
When it does, Farfaglia said he's worried about losing business to other local spots, because he's abiding by the rules when others are not.
Farfaglia said he's noticed the biggest violation at bars. Phase 1 of the reopening plan states that bar seating is not allowed unless it's directly in front of a window or wall, and people must be six feet apart.
Farfaglia said many bars are blatantly disregarding that restriction, and many others.
"Are those people that are selfishly breaking the rules going to set the rest of us back to where we are going to get closed again, or is it going to be stuck in phase one for a really long time to where i'm barely making a living?” Farfaglia said.
“My goal, and I think a lot of people's goal, is to get through this as safely as possible. Why waste the last two months of being closed to flush it down the toilet in a week?"
Farfaglia said he's lost about $50,000 of business between his three restaurants since the shutdown began. So he knows the importance of reopening right now.
However, after conversations with state and local agencies, Farfaglia said he feels like he's almost being encouraged to break the rules.
"The comment was, 'There's nobody out enforcing this, so just go ahead and get open. We need to make money, and I need to keep my job.' Another one told me, ‘We're just going to educate the public and try to help them through.' One of them mentioned to me that they had dealt with a lot of people snitching, and if someone snitches on my business, he'll give me the same courtesy of looking the other way."
Farfaglia said it's not just the bar owners who are responsible, but the people in the community as well. He said people should reconsider hanging out with their friends just a little longer, so we can get back to normal life a little sooner.
Here’s how Central Oregonians can report possible COVID-19 reopening violations.