Some Spokane restaurants reopen under modified guidelines

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s a long 10 months for business owners trying to get through the pandemic. 

At David’s Pizza, the owner says they’re happy to have people back inside under Governor Inslee’s new guidelines. 

“It feels like a bitter reprieve. It’s a chance that you could actually take a breath,” said owner Mark Starr. 

Six years ago, when Starr opened up the location on Mallon Avenue, he decided to put the big windows and doors in to open up for certain times of the year.

“We run a sort of a cabana style, certain months out of the year it’s really, it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

The garage-styled  windows are normally closed during the peak of the summer and winter, but it worked out for him, allowing him to use it to open during COVID.

Starr says he’s asked state leaders in Olympia to have an open air concept-type dining since November. He said he’s worked with Dr. Bob Lutz in trying to make it happen, and feels it did with his help.

There are four ways restaurants can have dining in some type of structure. 

READ: State outlines open air and outdoor seating requirements during Phase 1 of ‘Healthy Washington’ plan

Open Air Concept 1 means up to three walls can be open for air flow. This could allow a maximum of 25% capacity inside the restaurant. Carbon dioxide levels must also be monitored in certain parts of the restaurant in this option. 

In Open Air Concept 2, the seating area should have two walls open on opposite sides for air to flow across the dining room. 

Open Air Concept 3 uses canopies and covers with at most one side wall that does not exceed four feet in height within ten feet of the dining area. In option four, small enclosed structures are allowed, like igloos. You should have six or fewer people inside, preferably with people from the same household. 

For newly opened Four-eyed Guys Brewing Company, having a garage door wasn’t always part of the plan.

“We couldn’t get pallets or grain or anything like that in, so we had to take all these windows out and put a garage door in for that purpose.  and it ended up being a bigger blessing than we thought it’d be,” said co-owner Alex Rausch. 

He and his wife dreamed of the brewery for years- finally making it come true during a pandemic, of all times. The brewery just opened the day before Thanksgiving only to close for indoor seating a few weeks later.

It makes them happy to see people sitting down and enjoying a beer, even if it’s a little cold outside. 

“We love this city so much and I just like being part of the culture and beer culture is such a huge part of what people do when they come into a new city and just to be a part of it, and see this all come to fruition is pretty wild,” said Rausch.