PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - It’s the second weekend of indoor dining for Portland area bars and restaurants.
While some were off to a slower start with snow and ice the first weekend, others have been busy from the get-go.
"We spent our COVID shutdown remodeling the bar," The Pharmacy owner Brian Gardes said.
In lieu of takeout, and with just some limited outdoor dining, they instead spent the last several months focused on changing things up and getting ready for the day that customers could once again dine inside.
"We really are seeing the benefit in the investment because now we have people coming back in," Gardes said.
Valentine’s weekend marked the first time Portland area bars and restaurants could serve a limited number of people indoors.
Gardes said they did well with people in the neighborhood eager to come out, but for other places the weather presented its own challenges.
Tyler Burby at Serratto used his four-wheel drive to bring the staff to work, and he said some customers had to cancel their plans.
"We were anticipating a monstrous weekend obviously, it's Valentine's Day, it's one of the busiest weekends of the year," Burby said. "The snow definitely put a damper on things."
But he said now they’re getting into the swing of things and business is picking up.
"These past couple days, maybe not on the weekend but on weekdays, have been busier than we’d typically be in February in a normal year with full capacity in the restaurant," he said.
A lot of bars and restaurants had been waiting and hoping for the day they could have people inside.
But other places aren’t jumping on this.
For example, at the restaurant Eem, they’re sticking to outdoor dining right now. One of the owners there said they feel safer that way and since it’s been such a success for them, they don’t feel the need to add indoor dining.