▶️ Bend councilor, bar owner at odds; businesses struggle with mask requirements

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Bend City Councilor Bill Moseley said he was checking up on the Astro Lounge in Downtown Bend.

But the Astro Lounge’s owner said Moseley came into the bar “without a mask and screamed” at an employee.

“I’m not the sort of person who screams ever,” Moseley said.

Moseley said he did take off his mask when visiting the bar so the bartender could hear him.

“I went over and talked to them and I expressed concern and my hopes that they’ll conform to overall requirements,” Moseley said.

Owner Josh Maquet said the bar has been written up by both the OLCC and OSHA for violating social distancing and mask requirements.

In a letter to the editor of The Source Weekly, Maquet described the difficulty of owning a bar during the pandemic.

“My sales are way down,” Maquet said. Trying to get customers to social distance is a “constant battle at all times.”

Maquet didn’t want to comment further for this story, but he did say he is considering shutting down the Astro Lounge bar for a while in part because of how difficult it is to enforce social distancing and mask requirements.

After the incident at the bar, Moseley and Maquet agreed to meet with several other business owners to discuss difficulties the owners are facing.

“We actually learned quite a bit and we are empathetic to how difficult it can be to operate a business safely,” Moseley said.

Moseley has taken some of those concerns mentioned back to Bend City Council.

 

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