As the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon continues to impact the local restaurant market, stories are popping up across the city, from food cart owners giving away free meals to chefs starting Instagram cooking classes. In this new version of AM Intel, we dive into different ways the state’s food service industry has been responding to the global pandemic. For more COVID-19 stories, check out our larger story stream.
Coffee Shop Mask-Off
A group of Oregon State Police officers entered a Corvallis coffee shop without masks Wednesday, according to security footage and accounts by Allan’s Coffee & Tea assistant manager, Travis Boss. Entering indoor public spaces without face coverings is a violation of Gov. Kate Brown’s recent mask mandate. In a statement to the Oregonian, Boss said that the officers allegedly said “Fuck Kate Brown,” and refused requests to wear masks. Brown met with the officers in question Friday, in which she said “they took responsibility and expressed real regret for their actions,” according to a Facebook post on her page. The statement also says that she was “focused on saving lives, not firing people for making a single mistake,” which implies the officers have not been fired for violating the mask order. An Oregon State Police spokesperson said that a trooper has been put on administrative leave, and the police is conducting an investigation. “Let me be clear, Oregon State Police Troopers are not above the law and this conduct is being immediately addressed,” Oregon State Police superintendent Travis Hampton wrote in a Twitter thread. “As the leader of the Oregon State Police, I would like to offer my apology to the coffee shop employees and the community.”
Lucky Lab Re-Closes
Lucky Lab, the local mini-chain of breweries in the Portland area, decided to re-close its brewpubs around the city ahead of the holiday weekend. “We feel uncomfortable with the current COVID situation and the risk to public health,” the statement on the website reads. The company’s statement says the locations will stay closed “until we can reassess the situation and risk to our staff and customers,” but in a Willamette Week story, co-owner Gary Geist says the team plans to re-evaluate in two weeks. The state has experienced four straight days of more than 300 new COVID-19 cases per day.
New Dine-In Opening
• Jacqueline, the SE Clinton seafood restaurant, has reopened for dine-in seating, with $1 oysters and 10 tables in its outdoor dining area. The restaurant will also continue takeout options.
Multnomah County confirmed COVID-19 cases: 2,488 (according to Johns Hopkins)
Oregon total confirmed cases: 10,230 (according to Johns Hopkins)
Latest Multnomah County case count: 72 (Oregon Health Authority)