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Some Oregon Restaurant Professionals Worry the Lack of Onsite Dining May Encourage More Dangerous Gatherings

Plus, an AM-Intel-sized holiday gift guide, and news to start your day

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Red umbrellas cover a fenced patio area
Patio seating, which will be banned in Portland for at least four weeks starting tomorrow
Bar Casa Vale/Official

The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association Worries the Restaurant Shutdown Might Encourage More Dangerous Gatherings

Starting tomorrow, Oregon starts its second restaurant shutdown, in response to rising COVID-19 cases across the state. Oregonians cannot dine at restaurants for at least two weeks (four weeks in Multnomah County), and the governor is asking households to limit their social gatherings to one other household. However, Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association president Jason Brandt argues that allowing small gatherings at restaurants is, in fact, a better way to make sure Oregonians gather safely: Because they’re more closely regulated, it’s easier to make sure people socially distance and wear masks, as opposed to private households where people may disregard safety precautions. According to the ORLA’s analysis of Oregon Health Authority data, less than one percent of workplace outbreaks were tied back to restaurants. However, it’s unclear how many outbreaks are tied back to diners. [PBJ]

Eater Portland’s Bite-Sized Holiday Gift Guide

You can now smell like a waffle cone thanks to Salt & Straw’s new line of candles and perfumes. Salt & Straw has always had a strong merch game, but waffle cone-scented candles is a particular stroke of genius. 14 mL bottles of the perfume are $28, while the candles are $30.
• In other merch news, iconic Vietnamese cart Matta is releasing a line of t-shirts for preorder, embroidered with the restaurant’s name in a West Coast/Old English font. The shirts come in emerald green, navy blue, gold, black, and white, with sizes going up to XL. The shirts are currently listed at $40; order online here.
• For those looking for something a little stronger, Freeland Spirits, a local distillery known for its gins and whiskeys, is releasing a rye that spends a year in Evening Land’s Gamay barrels. The finished product is barrel proof at 56 percent ABV. The bottles clock in right below $70, and are super limited — not a bad idea for an early holiday gift.
• Hate these ideas? There’s a new online marketplace for local gifts called the Portland Bazaar, complete with a pantry section. You’ll find beloved favorites like Ranger Chocolate, Marshall’s Haute Sauce, and Steven Smith Teamaker, as well as a few things you might not recognize. Shop the pantry section here.

In Other News...

• Even considering the difficulties of the year, three of the fastest growing private companies in Oregon are food and drink businesses: Migration Brewing, Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen, and Dutch Bros. Coffee all make the top 25. If we consider cannabis edibles food and drink, Wyld lands in the top three. [PBJ]
Drag legend Darcelle celebrated 90 years on the planet yesterday. Read more here. [Fox, PoMo]

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