‘As long as we’re not closed down, I’m okay;’ Spokane restaurants relieved as county stays in Phase 3

SPOKANE, Wash. — Local restaurant owners are relieved today knowing they can stay at 50% capacity, but they’re still worried about what happens next.

“At the end of the day, my feet usually hurt,” said Gander & Ryegrass owner Peter Froese. “My heart hurts a little bit, and the emotional rollercoaster is a real thing, for sure.”

Restaurants can stay in Phase 3 for the next two weeks, but Governor Inslee says he will move counties back if things don’t improve.

RELATED: Inslee leaving counties in current phases – for now

Today’s news was welcomed throughout the state.

For local restaurant owners, it means they get two more weeks to continue doing what they love at 50% capacity, and it means more freedom for people visiting to spend time in a city they love.

“We’ve spent a lot of time here over the last 20 years, and we just enjoy the town,” said Dan Brudevold.

Dan and his wife Dolly made the hour and a half drive from Keller Ferry into Spokane today to run errands and enjoy lunch together.

“This is a fantastic setting for a nice and wonderful lunch today,” Dolly told us.

At Gander & Ryegrass, serving guests is what’s most important — no matter the setbacks.

“We put our heads down. We work hard, and we just continue on,” said Froese. “Every day, no matter if you’re 25% or 50% or even if we go back to 75% or 100%, until we’re really outside of that pandemic altogether, there’s really no telling.”

And Froese can continue on for the next two weeks at 50% capacity, which is around 35 guests in his restaurant, but he isn’t getting too comfortable.

“As long as we’re not closed down, I’m okay,” said Froese.

“We can’t come to Spokane every day and so we try to make the most of our trips,” said Dolly.

“It’s a beautiful day to be outside and just experiencing it all with fresh air,” said Dan.

While Froese is thankful for today’s news about remaining in Phase 3, he says he can’t even find enough people to work at partial capacity. Just getting people to fill out applications and show up for interviews, he says, is the biggest problem he’s facing on the path forward.