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Bars near Providence Park counted on big crowds from Friday night Thorns soccer game.

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - The outdoor seating area at the Goose Hollow Inn in Southwest Portland.Bars and restaurants near Providence Park are excited to see the Portland Thorns return to the pitch Friday night.

But the new COVID-19 restrictions that followed Multnomah County being returned to the hogh-risk category put a damper on the excitement. The county had been categorized as moderate risk until April 9.

Amy Nichols, who owns The Cheerful Bullpen at 1730 S.W. Taylor, St., said it's been an extremely difficult year. They had to convert part of the bar into a store just to survive. Thorns games typically bring in a big crowd, so they stocked up on food and scheduled more employees.

But now, with the smaller indoor dining capacity, they can have only 20 people inside at the most.

"We now have an overstock of food. I had to call off multiple staff. So now more employees don't have employment tonight," Nichols told KOIN 6 News. "It's just one more kick in the stomach."

It's much the same at the Goose Hollow Inn at 1927 S.W. Jefferson St. Their indoor dining isn't open yet, but they have a large outdoor area. The new restrictions mean they can host only 75 people instead of 100.

Losing 25 customers on a game day can really impact the bottom line, especially after a year that's been so tough.

"I'm not surprised. I'm just a little disappointed," said Goose Hollow Inn Manager Rachel Clark. "I honestly don't think that our reduction of 25 people out here is going to make that big of a difference in terms of the safety protocols."

Clark figured they were closed for about one-third of the year so they are ready to make up for lost time. They hope people continue following the COVID guidelines so they can get back to more capacity as soon as possible.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.

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