Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee laid out the requirements for what it would take for restaurants and taverns to reopen in phase two of his plan to safely restart the economy, but some bar and restaurant owners aren’t entirely sure which of the four phases of Inslee’s plan their business will be pinned to.
Restaurants and taverns can open up to 50 percent occupancy in phase two if they follow the governor's reopening requirements, and bars can open up to 25 percent capacity in phase three.
But for Seattle-area restaurant owner Joel Stedman, it’s cloudy which phase some of his businesses are subject to. He says one of his businesses, Targy’s Tavern, has "tavern" in its name and serves some food. So, it could reopen in phase two. But it's not quite that simple.
“We, in the eyes of the liquor board are, actually, because of having no kitchen and being 21 and up, but also serving liquor, the only license we could qualify for and have is a nightclub license," Stedman said. "So that’s a pickle too, because if they pin it to the liquor license we are phase four.”
The difference between a phase two and phase four designation could mean at least a six-week difference in when Stedman could open his doors, assuming all of the safety and health guidelines are met.