Local restaurants worry how long shutdown will last

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — While Oregonians are urged to stay at home to mitigate the community spread of coronavirus, restaurants are getting hit hard.

Local restaurants and bars are closing their doors or turning to take out and delivery to get by. With Governor Kate Brown’s announcement Monday, many restaurants are worried about how long this shutdown will last. Despite their cleaning efforts before the announcement, traffic dropped drastically.

“Business dropped off pretty drastically,” Jonathan William, Caldera General Manager, said.

Even before the governor announced restaurants should close to everything but takeout and delivery Ashland’s Caldera Brewery and Restaurant announced they’ll be closing until the public health crisis is over.

“This is when we start to ramp up. We hire more employees, but now we’ve come to a screeching halt,” Williman.

Williman says he doesn’t know when they’ll reopen.

“We’re not the only restaurant affected, obviously, everyone is,” Williman said.

While some are shutting down completely, others, like Louie’s are expanding delivery services. If you don’t want to leave your house, they will deliver straight to your door.

“We’ll knock on the door, ring the doorbell, leave their food, step back, make sure they open the door of course, and then wave to them. Thanks so much,” Tom Dubois, Louie’s owner, said.

Grocery stores are also upping precautions. Winco is no longer open 24 hours. Instead it’s closing for cleaning from midnight to 8 a.m. Other grocery stores, like Food for Less, Safeway and Fred Meyer are keeping regular hours, but say they’re constantly disinfecting.

Restaurants say there are many uncertainties moving forward, but one thing they all agreed on is this temporary shutdown will affect every one of them.

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