Want to sit at the bar? You’ll need a mask & vaccine proof at this Pasco brewery

PASCO, Wash. — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, many local eateries are taking a look at their regulations in the pandemic. Now one Pasco brewery is fully reinstating their mask mandate and going one step further.

Starting August 4, all patrons who want to sit at the bar at Sage Brewing Company are required to show proof of vaccination. If you don’t want to sit at the bar, you are still required to wear a mask inside unless seated at your table.

The announcement came just a few days ago as staff members said they decided to “prioritize safety.”

“We felt that it’s important to know who’s sitting at the bar and if there’s a potential that we could be putting our employees at risk,” said owner Tyson Crudup. “This is the only way we’re going to curb the pandemic.”

Crudup said he’s “tired” of having to constantly adapt to changes.

“I’m also tired of having to fight this for no reason when we have perfectly fine tools to get us out of this and I hope that other bar owners will start to follow this as well,” Crudup said. “This is all reactionary to the case counts and where the community is moving with COVID-19.”

Crudup said the past year was “an up and down ride” for his small team.

“If we have one of us go down or get sick, it’s a huge impact on our operations,” Crudup said, noting there are only three full-time employees.

So far, the response has been mostly positive which is a “relief” to some team members.

“The most important priority in our lives are our families and our staff here and we’re a big family at this location,” said brewer Mallory Miller. “I love the fact that we’ve reinstated the mask mandate. I know that when I leave here and I go to see my nephew or nieces [who are too young to be vaccinated] that they’re going to be okay.”

Miller added that it’s their “right to be safe in the workplace” while Alex Tovar, the bartender for the Pasco brewery, said wearing a mask is “a small sacrifice” to experience the new normal.

“Who wants to be really responsible for that grandma or grandpa who got sick because they went out and brought it to them?” Tovar said.

While there have been a few protests, Tovar said most customers are already vaccinated and support their decision.

“We actually have seen new faces and they were so happy and so great,” Tovar said. “They came up to me and told me it’s awesome because they weren’t able to go out and now that we’ve done this, we’re one of the reasons they’re coming out.”

Crudup said these rules will be in place until the local numbers start going back down and it’s deemed safe again.

“It’s protecting our customers and protecting employees and that way we can all still go out and enjoy ourselves, have a good time, and try to make the best we can out of the situation,” Crudup said.


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