PORTLAND, Ore. — In downtown Portland, plywood remained on the glass fronts of several small businesses despite the fact that Friday morning marked the first day of Phase 1 for Multnomah County.
Under Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s coronavirus rules, Phase 1 means that bars and restaurants can begin some sit-down dining and that personal care salons and barbershops and gyms can reopen.
At the French pastry shop, St. Honore Boulangerie, they look forward to the customers sitting down inside to enjoy their goodies.
"It's really nice to have people come in you know? It's kind of sad not to have people in and seating. So now it will be nice to see most of our regulars in here," Miriam Zelaya said.
The feeling is similar at Public Domain Coffee.
"I think bringing more people in, drawing more people in as others are seated. That’s definitely huge and it’s gonna be huge for other businesses too,” said Alfred Farnworth from behind the counter.
Not far away on Southwest Washington Street, Chrome Salon saw its first customers early this morning.
“I think there definitely was a little bit of anxiousness last night as I went to bed but I know how excited everyone is to get their hair cut,” Doriana Lyles said.
They’re excited to get their nails done too. And Friday, Urbantopia Spa was ready.
“We are very excited actually because last week, we get ready on Thursday, and then by Thursday night we got to hold everything. And so, this week we got the OK early on Wednesday. Yay!” said owner Trec Nguyen.
In Troutdale at O’Malley’s Gym, clients can finally pump iron again after a shutdown that stretched nearly three months.
"Luckily, we are a niche gym, and we have specialized equipment that’s better than a corporate gym. So many of our members continued to pay their membership througho9ut the time so we were able to get by with that,” said owner Tim O’Malley.
He said two other gyms in the area did not survive.
O’Malley said his setup will keep air circulating in his gym, an important feature in our coronavirus world.
“We’re in an industrial building so we have two giant bay doors that we will be opening and we have industrial fans so we’re gonna be pushing a lot of air like it's outdoors practically here at this gym,” he said.
In Gresham, outdoor tables stationed along the sidewalk outside Nicholas Restaurant show it is ready to reopen after surviving on just takeout for the last 90 or so days.
The longtime Lebanese and Mediterranean food establishment offered a glimpse of what you will find at many restaurants.
“This is our QR code so people are not using paper menus,” said owner Hilda Williams. Customers capture the code with their cell phones and see the menu pop up on their screen.
There is also a system for tracking who has been here in case someone gets sick. “This is our customer tracing chart where customers can put their name, date, email and phone number just for tracing purposes if that’s ever needed," Williams said.
"We have here some face masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, we call this our sanitation station,” Williams said, pointing to another table with supplies.
There are fewer tables inside and 6-foot spacing reminders on the floor.
But the owner is ready for sit-down diners.
“We think it’s Friday night, the weather’s nice, hopefully people are watching the news and reading that Multnomah County is open so it might be an exciting night for people to go out to eat tonight,” Williams said.