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.
Business Interests Impact Reopening
Surprising basically no one, emails obtained via public records requests show that business owners and associations helped shape state reopening plans across the country; that includes Oregon’s. In a May email, a group of business owners sent an email to Gov. Kate Brown requesting more say in the development of reopening plans; that same day, the governor received another email from the state hospital association asking the governor to institute a mask mandate, describing it as “foundational to any business opening where people will be gathered, indoors or out.” The governor opened counties with mask mandates only for employees in certain businesses, including restaurants and bars; however, when COVID-19 cases started to rise dramatically, the governor instituted indoor and eventually qualified outdoor mask mandates for customers, as well. Many business owners may feel that having a say in the way reopening works should have been a given; this article seems to posit that their voice had more sway than that of public health officials, however. [OPB]
It Takes Mox(ie)
Mox Boarding House, a Washington game bar and restaurant mini-chain, has finally opened its Oregon location, serving food and beer onsite for those interested in playing one of the restaurant’s many board games. Now, for those who feel uncomfortable playing a rented game right now, the restaurant does sell new games that customers can take home; those unready to eat inside a restaurant can buy a game and order takeout from a menu of sandwiches, fried chicken, and coffee drinks. The bar is located at 1938 W Burnside Street. [Willamette Week]
The piña-colada-happy cocktail bar Tropicale, which partially opened out of a stationary bar cart last month, has started serving its full-blown food menu, which includes things like Peruvian ceviche, shrimp tacos, and cochinita pibil sandwiches in the style of a cemita. [Oregonian]