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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.

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Arielle Brumfield

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



    1. Why don’t you tell Dripping Testicle? Go to each and every business and let them know you said it and that’s all that matters. Report back when you’re done, but not until you’ve done a thorough job.

    2. Unfortunately, The state supreme court stayed the baker county judge’s injunction against the restrictions until they can look it over. So technically the restrictions are still in place.

  1. I want to go to Jake’s and have their country fried steak and eggs and I want to go to the Pourhouse and have a cheesesteak and hit their taps. But, at my age and conditions I have to wait and see how this works out. I really, really hope it goes well. I need to see and interact with people,

    1. And this is exactly how it should be. Those that could have potential problems know who they are and can take their own precautions and everyone else can live their life. Everyone else should never of had their last livelihoods destroyed for only a subset of the population.

      1. Am I an uneducated cult member prone to conspiracy theory?
        No, it’s the Doctors who are wrong.
        When you say “everyone else should never of had their last livelihoods destroyed” while you sit warm and dry on your couch collecting $31/hour socialism money, are you including yourself in that subset of the population or just talking about other people?

  2. This isn’t the ‘new normal’
    This is temporary
    The media fear mongering will go ignored again
    Life will continue
    We’ll find new politicians to despise

    Both sides suck

  3. Enjoy while it lasts before the valley people come over and cause the second outbreak and everything gets shut down again! Trailer park lockdown!

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