By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Oregon restaurants and bars have been among the hardest hit by COVID restrictions since February.
“What we are doing now is unsustainable,” said Jeff Parshall, owner of Longboard Louie’s in Bend.
But lawmakers in Salem might have thrown them a lifeline after legalizing cocktails to go on Monday.
“It’s like an early Christmas gift,” Parshall said. “Merry Christmas.”
The law would limit cocktails to two per “substantial” food order. It expires 60 days after the governor’s emergency declaration expires.
Parshall says his restaurant has struggled with the COVID rules.
“As we went into the winter and lost outdoor sitting due to the cold and indoor seating due to the new mandate, business has slowed down quite a bit,” he said.
He also says the new liquor rules will help businesses hoping to stay alive until the state fully reopens.
“It will increase some of our sales,” Parshall said. “The bottom line is, we sell more food than alcohol sales, but every little bit helps. It might enable us to hire on another employee or two.”
The law limits the sale of two servings of alcohol per substantial food item ordered.
“Some of my questions would be a liability on my part as far as if someone else is delivering how are they checking ID, confirming the person is of age and we’re not overserving,” Parshall asked.
Restaurants and bars now wait for more specific rules and guidelines — such as exactly when the new rules go into effect — which the OLCC will release soon.