Slowly and cautiously, brewery taprooms across the state are starting to reopen. Phase 2 of Washington’s reopening strategy began on May 12th clearing the way for taprooms and restaurants to reopen in the state’s eight least-populated counties. Some brewery taprooms in those counties are now open.
Today, it was announced that ten more of Washington’s 39 counties can apply to move forward to Phase 2: Spokane, Adams, Clark, Lewis, Thurston, Mason, Kitsap, Clallam, Jefferson, and Grays Harbor. (Pictured here: Riverport Brewing in Clarkston, Washington is set up for phase 2 reopening.) That means that, in total, 22 of the state’s counties are, or can be, open for business.
That means breweries in Spokane, Port Townsend, Olympia, and other cities and towns can move forward, assuming the counties apply with the state Department of Health to do so. The plan is for the state’s remaining counties to follow suit in the coming weeks, assuming the curve continues to move in the right direction. (The state is monitoring things on a county-by-county basis.)
At this point, it is hard to imagine business owners and consumers not knowing the guidelines and regulations surrounding Phase 2, but I share those below as well. The Washington Brewers Guild has put together a Phase 2 Reopening Guide for Breweries. (don’t say they never gave you nuthin’.)
Here’s what we’ve heard, via social media, from brewery taprooms that have either reopened or announced their plans. Likely we will hear more in the coming days. If there is info you want to share with us, contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Riverport Brewing Company (Clarkston, WA) – PHASE 2!!! I kinda feel like we made it to the next level in Jumanji. Whatever, we get to open up for table service again. We have to reconfigure the tasting room a bit and rally the troops so we can get things going again but the plan is to open for the new normal tomorrow at noon. As was before our hours will be from noon to around nine M-Th and noon to about ten on Friday and Saturdays. Tasting room will only be 50% capacity and no seating at the bar. The patio is open and we can overflow into the back room.
Republic Brewing Company (Republic, WA) – RBC will open for dine-in seating, by reservation only, on Friday, May 22nd. We are currently moving tables, bringing back a few employees, sewing more masks and getting our reservation system up and running in order to serve you a beer in the pub. No utensils, condiments or peanuts will be provided. Food service will be very limited. You are always welcome to bring your own food, and we encourage supporting our great neighbor restaurants while we work with limited staffing. Reservations can only be made after our online system is up and running, which we anticipate happening May 20 or 21st. To-go sales will remain open to all customers. Contact information will be required for all dine-in customers.
Quartzite Brewing Company (Chewelah, WA) – We know everyone is very excited about Stevens County moving in to Phase 2, and boy are we excited to have you back enjoying our space! Our current plan is to open for pints on Friday. We are taking our time to make sure that we are set up for success, and have the ability to keep everyone healthy. Thursday we will be open for ToGo beers, and our patio seating will be open for enjoying Lola’s Good Eats! Cheers to gathering in small numbers, catching up, and staying healthy.
Chief Spring’s Fire and Irons Brew Pub (Dayton, WA) – We are excited to be open at the pub 3-7:30 each day. For our customer and staff safety, we will be practicing social distancing. Seating is limited, no groups larger than 5. We encourage our customers to wear a face mask of their choice when entering, exiting or moving around in the building. The patio is also open. Take advantage of the nice weather. Hope to see you soon.
WASHINGTON’S PHASE 2 REOPENING GUIDELINES/REQUIREMENTS
Here is an outline of the basic requirements for restaurants (and taprooms) to open during Phase 2 of Washington’s reopening plan. There is nothing preventing brewery taprooms from creating their own policies that add to the following. Some counties may also have additional guidelines and requirements; these are the basics from the state.
1. Hand sanitizer should be available at the entry for all staff and patrons.
2. No bar seating is permitted during Phase 2. If an establishment has bar seating it must be closed off to prohibit use.
3. If the establishment does not offer table service, they must have protocols in place to ensure adequate social distancing at food and drink pick-up stations and at seating areas within their dining /taproom area.
4. All parties and tables limited to five guests or less.
5. Guest occupancy must be 50 percent of maximum building occupancy, or lower as determined by the fire code. Outdoor seating is permitted but must also be at 50 percent capacity. Outdoor seating does not count toward the building occupancy limit. Outdoor seating must follow all other requirements in this document.
6. Tables must be placed far enough apart when measured from occupied chair to occupied chair, to ensure dine-in guests seated at a table are a minimum of 6 feet away from guests at adjacent table, or there must be a physical barrier or wall separating booths or tables.
7. It is strongly suggested customers wear a cloth face covering anytime they are not seated at the table (while being seated or leaving, or while going to the restroom).
8. Buffets and salad bars are not permitted at this time but may be addressed through subsequent interpretive guidance.
10. Single-use menus are required for in-person dining.
11. Any condiments typically left on the table (ketchup, soy sauce, etc.) must be single-use or sanitized after each use.
12. Restaurants must have implemented a plan to ensure proper physical distancing in lobby/waiting areas/payment counters.
13. Minimize the number of staff serving any given table. It is strongly recommended that one staff person take a table’s order, bring all of their beverages/food/utensils, take their payment, etc.