Restaurants Fare Well; New Case of COVID-19 for Florence; Food Share Reopens

Restaurants Fare Well

Business was up in local restaurants and people were out enjoying the beautiful coastal weather this Memorial Day weekend. Kurt Hargens with 1285 Restobar says it’s the best weekend they’ve had since the pandemic started.

“Our numbers are very similar to what they would have been in 2019 and we have half the seats inside and no bar. So, it just speaks to the fact that people are really ready to get out and enjoy themselves.”

Other restaurants saw similar number including areas outside of Bay Street.  The Owner of Jerry’s Place Karl Engel. Says that they enjoyed a good “bump” in business. He says full hotels, RV parks and Airbnb kept customers coming in. Also notable he says, is that despite continued mask requirements, there was little of the anger and hostility restaurants have seen in the past.

“Tourists seem to be a lot more agreeable to mask wearing than they have been in the past several months and they’re pretty cool with all of that.”

Businesses are still looking for a return to some sort of normalcy as issues with the ongoing pandemic seem to be waning.  Still a major issue with eateries and retail businesses is the employment pool is still at a major low for the Florence area.  Restaurant owners for the majority say that if seating capacity were at full levels, they don’t have enough people to take care of them.

New Case of COVID-19 for Florence

The 97439 zip code has added yet another COVID-19 case.  The number is now at 247 while Lane County continues to see lower numbers of COVID-19 cases.  There were only 21 reported cases yesterday and the case count per 100,000 has dropped to 38.85.  week over week the number have been declining with hopes of the county being able to soon reach a number that would put it at the lowest level of risk.  A much quicker route to that status could likely come from vaccinations, but it is unclear what percentage Lane county is currently at, numbers on the state’s website has not been updated since Friday of last week.  As state offices reopen today the numbers will likely be updated, but clinics have not had the numbers of individuals coming through the doors of late and the long holiday weekend added to that slump.

Food Share Reopens

The Florence Food Share opens its doors today to individuals who are in need of food.  The facility has been hand filling orders over the past year, but Food Share Director Colin Morgan says its time to let people back in.  He said for many it is more than just the food.

“Food share was a community of into itself and a lot of the folks that needed services came in not just for the food but they came in for the camaraderie they get with the volunteers.”

Morgan says they will still be able to hand pack orders for individuals that still do not feel comfortable with shopping inside, but they are ready with all of the protocols in place to safely serve those who enjoy shopping on their own.