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Poor air quality from wildfires burning around region could curb outdoor dining options

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With the smoke from many fires burning around the area and region, some Central Oregon restaurants may end up closing their outdoor seating areas, for health reasons.

"If the smoke gets really, really bad, just for the safety of our staff and our guests, we'll probably end up having to close our patio, just for air quality," Chris Hakala, general manager at Cascade Lakes Brewpub in Bend, said Wednesday

Hakala said people really enjoy sitting outside the brewery in the warm summertime.

"It's just kind of a known spot to where everyone wants to come out, drink some beer, have some fun, hang out with their friends," Hakala said.

Down the street, Sage Schiffman, owner of Cabin 22, said his patio area is a very busy place for his business.

"Folks are driving past here on Century Drive, and this is a big beautiful attractive patio-- it's kind of been our lifeblood, so to speak," Schiffman said.

Schiffman said so far, not many customers have complained about the smoke.

"Obviously some folks, the ones that do mind, really mind, they're going inside. but we really have not seen a dent yet with people really being affected by the smoke," Schiffman said.

He's also taken precautions against the heat as well.

"We built some extensions to our patio to support the sun sails here and give a lot more shade in the patio, as well as under awning tables, to make our guests as comfortable as they can be," Schiffman said.

It seems that the recent hot spell has affected at least one business in Bend.

The Domino's Pizza off Third Street had a sign posted on its door Wednesday, saying it's closing early due to the high temperatures.

If restaurants did have to close portions of their dining areas, it would come at the worst time, since this is their busiest season.

"It would definitely impact our business, the wildfires, because then we would lose, because this is, what, 29 tables outside," Hakala said, standing in the patio area.

Article Topic Follows: Business

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Leslie Cano

Leslie Cano is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Leslie here.


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