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‘This new normal’: Bend restaurants adjusting to reopening rules

'It was hard, since we didn’t know what it was going to be like.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ ) -- After nearly two months of being closed or limited to takeout and delivery, some Bend restaurants saw their highest numbers of customers yet over the weekend, with some patrons even coming from the Portland area.

Businesses were again allowed to open their doors last Friday, under Gov. Kate Brown's Phase 1 guidelines and many restaurants didn’t have to worry about whether people were going to dine out.

Cabin 22 located on Southwest Century Drive, had guests dining inside and outside in their patio area. The 110 seats they usually offer inside were cut in half, to about 50 seats.

Owner Mitch Cole said Monday the community was understanding about the new rules and changes, while the staff tried to get in sync with their new routines. He said the staff worked double shifts this weekend to be able to serve customers.

“I think the new rules -- we’re all learning them together," Cole said. "We are trying to figure out what the business model is going to look like, and how we can exist in whatever this new normal is.

"We don’t know if that is going to last for a longer time period, or what that will look like in the future. We have to take it day by day and do the best we can.”

In the downtown area, Wall Street Bar and Grille had a busy weekend as well. The restaurant and bar now closes four hours earlier, at the state's 10 p.m. curfew, instead of 2:30 a.m.

Dolly Miller, the general manager, said she had customers from Portland who rented hotels for the weekend, despite the governor's request that metro-area residents not do so travel far from home.

Miller said the transition of reopening was difficult, because they did not know what to expect, she shared with NewsChannel 21 how they’ve adjusted their space to comply with social distancing.

“It was hard, since we didn’t know what it was going to be like," Miller said. "As you can see, we have all of our social distancing posters all up, we’ve moved our smoking area. We’ve limited our seating, we have two poker machines at the moment, we’re creating space and added seating in the hallway."

Miller said opening back up was difficult, and they didn't expect the crowd the reopening drew in.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.


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