‘It’s a lot more painful the second time’: Restaurants prepare for new COVID-19 guidelines

SPOKANE, Wash. – Starting Wednesday, you’ll no longer be able to dine inside of a restaurant. That’s one of the new guidelines placed by Governor Inslee as COVID-19 cases continue to soar.

Takeout and outdoor dining are still an option, but that’s just not enough to keep some restaurants going.

“It’s a lot more painful the second time than the first time,” said Kevin MacDonald, Owner of Jack and Dan’s.

A painful reality for small business owners everywhere.

“We thought we were supposed to get a hold on it. All the doctors said it would start to go away in the summer. It didn’t,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald says ever since the start of the pandemic, the restaurant-bar has been making less than 50% of what they usually do.

It’s left him with no other option.

“I didn’t want to have to go tell my employees that they have to go on unemployment again. The first time around, we were able to keep a few on. Right now, we have to think about saving what we can save,” said MacDonald.

He says keeping on staff in an empty restaurant just isn’t feasible. He’s decided to shut his doors completely for the next four weeks.

“We’ve had a lot of support but it’s never easy,” MacDonald said.

On the other hand, No-Li Brewhouse will be open for takeout and outdoor seating, but it will come at a cost.

“It’s a difficult decision. It’ll be a stretch to say that anyone in the restaurant industry for the most part will make money during phase one,” said John Bryant, Owner of No-Li Brewhouse.

Bryant anticipates the restaurant will only be making 20% of what they usually do. Still, he’s determined to make it work.

“We’re going to do our best to be accessible and be here for the community to the best of our ability.” Bryant said.

In these times of uncertainty, they hope the community will be there for them, too.