‘Don’t just run off to Idaho’: Spokane restaurants say they need community support to stay open

SPOKANE, Wash. — Small businesses are failing every day across the country. Spokane is no different.

Local restaurants say unless diners keep supporting them, more will close for good.

On Sunday, Crave in downtown Spokane announced on Facebook they’d be shutting their doors because of the pandemic. With new restrictions being put into place, restaurants fear more closures will come.

“It seems that each week that goes by there’s a new regulation that we have to conform to,” said Mark Starr, owner of David’s Pizza.

Last week, Governor Jay Inslee came out with new restrictions for restaurants in Washington.

Under phase 2, parties of five or more that aren’t sitting outside need to be living under the same roof. Customers can take their masks off to eat and drink, but will need to put them back on when ordering. There will also be no alcohol served after 10 p.m.

“That is going to even further impact the profitability,” said Starr.

However, Starr says the restaurants have the least control in this situation.

“I think perhaps the biggest impact is to the public and they need to be smarter about when they mask up,” he said.

“Don’t just run off to Idaho. We’re already seeing because of that, we’re having some issues,” said Chad White, who owns various restaurants in Spokane.

White has already had to close two of his restaurants due to the pandemic. He says he doesn’t want anyone else to be in the same boat.

“Businesses want to be around. They want to be able to serve you, so continue to support them,” White said.

For small business owners, it’s that support that keeps their livelihood afloat.

“If that means needing to wear a mask, just put your differences aside for a minute and think about them,” he said.

Starr and White are part of a group called the Spokane Hospitality Coalition. The coalition was formed to help small business owners keep their doors open. Click HERE to learn more.