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Restaurants get busy with Mother's Day business

The Mother's Day tradition of taking mom out to eat is a little harder to accomplish these days. Even with limited capacity, restaurants are making the best of it.

MILWAUKIE, Ore. — Even with limited capacity, restaurants are making Mother's day special for many families.

At Ovation Bistro in downtown Milwaukie, sidewalk seating was full up.

Owner Sean Sexton opened Ovation Bistro just about 14 months ago.

"We actually started this whole thing during the pandemic and that had influenced us to really make the outside very nice," said Sexton.

Sitting at a wooden table outside, Jocey McGinley was being celebrated as a mom, by her son Jacob and husband Joe.

"It's fantastic, this is actually one of our favorite locations to visit in downtown Milwaukie," said McGinley. "We don't live terribly far away and it's just great that they're open and I'm thrilled to see the attendance here today, so it's wonderful." 

Inside, the kitchen was cooking at full speed. The dining room, however, was not the busy spot, this Mother's Day. One larger party, all at one table, represents the 25% indoor limit for the majority of counties in Oregon.

Megan Flom enjoyed having the space to themselves.

"It feels great, it's fantastic. We got a reservation and yeah we're the only ones inside so we feel special," said Flom. 

Meanwhile up in Vancouver, there's no outside seating for Breakfast at Valerie's, but there are people waiting to get into the diner.

Valerie McCoy can serve a lot more people inside, thanks to the space, and Washington state's more generous 50% capacity restriction.  

"It takes us out of the negative so we're actually able to make a profit," said McCoy.  Last year at 50% we couldn't do it, was a little tighter, but we are able to now and things are going much better."  

And Mother's Day diners like the Williams family are glad she's open. 

"It feels great, it feels good to be able to fellowship with the family out in public," said Tiffany Williams, who noted other family members were at a few other tables in the room. 

"You know obviously with social distancing in place and other things to consider, they do a good job of making sure everyone gets in and out and you have a great time and good food," said Tiffany's husband Jermaine.

At another booth, Fatima Villaca agreed.

"I think it's fine. I think they have it spread out very well, very well organized, I think it's great," said Villaca.  

And back in Milwaukie, Sean Sexton is glad Ovation Bistro is catching on, as a great place to eat, inside or out.

"So 25% indoors isn't affecting me that much because it's a relatively nice day and a lot of people are comfortable to be outside," said Sexton.