Estacada restaurants struggle amid COVID-19 outbreak
Some Estacada area eateries are offering curbside pickup and online ordering, but others have temporarily shut their doors because of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.
On Monday, March 16, Gov. Kate Brown banned all Oregon restaurants, bars and other food establishments from serving food inside their businesses for the next four weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by the novel coronavirus. All food must be served carry-out or via delivery. The restrictions begin Tuesday, March 17.
The Country Restaurant and Lounge is one of several restaurants in town to temporarily shutter during this time.
"It's very stressful for our employees," said Linda Parsons, owner of The Country, noting that solely operating for take-out was not sustainable. "People are staying home. We can't sit around with even a small staff and hope to have enough orders. It was better to make the break and let (our employees) file for unemployment."
She added that she hopes to reopen the restaurant by the end of April.
"Even then, we'll run with a limited staff until things pick up again," she said. "It will still take time for people to recoup."
On Facebook, The Mason Jar announced that they would temporarily shut down.
"Our cafe is a family run business, and we have some with underlying conditions," the post on Wednesday, March 18, stated. "We will reopen again when we feel it is safe for our family. We appreciate everyone who has been supportive of our business."
Prior to that, Mason Jar owner DeDe Brittle noted that although take-out is usually a popular option at the cafe, there had not been many orders.
"I have chairs on the tables," she said on Tuesday, March 17. "We're not getting a lot of business."
At Lew's Drive-In, Marvin Flora estimated that sales had decreased by 70%.
"We're trying to stay open as much as possible, but I'm not sure how much longer that will last," said Flora, owner of the restaurant at 262 S. Broadway St., noting that this is a stressful time for the community. "People are afraid. I hear that from a lot of our customers."
He added that they are offering delivery and carry-out, and that the latter has been a popular option.
"We're still getting lots of regulars getting stuff to go," he said.
Nearby, Harmony temporarily closed its doors at 221 N.W. Wade St. on Thursday, March 19, after several days of offering text-to-go, curbside pickup and online ordering.
"It is with heavy hearts and a great sense of responsibility that we have come to the decision of closing our doors temporarily," Jenny Beaudoin, owner of Harmony, wrote on Facebook. "We deeply appreciate the support our community has shown us throughout this, and we have made drastic efforts to modify our restaurant so that it could sustain this. But it is clear that this is not sustainable, or perhaps even responsible. We must also consider the safety of our family and our employees, and ways in which we are dismissing the call for social distancing through our daily operation."
Prior to the closure, Harmony's staff had been reduced by 50% for the upcoming month because of the restrictions in place.
Beaudoin said she carried the decision to close "heavily because of the direct impact it would have on my employees."
Additional temporary closures around town include the Old Mill Saloon, Yo Treats and Trails Inn Cafe and Timber Room.
Meanwhile, employees at The Grind are serving customers at their drive-thru, along with carry out service in the main part of the coffee shop at 105 S.W. Highway 224. Call-in orders are also available.
"It's been slower than usual with periods of business," said Rohonda Aqleh, manager of the coffee shop, noting that school being out may be impacting the number of people they see.
Sherry Andrus, owner of The Cazadero, said that she and her staff are "going day by day, and hour by hour." The restaurant at 352 S.E. Highway 224 is offering curbside delivery and online ordering.
"The hardest part is not knowing what the demand will be, and knowing how to staff for the demand," said Andrus.
The Cazadero implemented curbside delivery several weeks ago, but Andrus noted that it has not been used by many customers.
"We don't want to close. We want to provide meals for the community," she said. "We want to provide the same amazing food to go. . .We intend to be here for the long haul. We're doing everything we can."
Those with a rewards card at The Cazadero, which is free, will receive double points for purchases during this time.
"Support your local businesses so we'll be here when the crisis is over," Andrus said.
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