ROSEBURG, Ore. – Casey’s Restaurant in Roseburg has decided to reopen for indoor dine-in, despite Douglas County being in extreme risk.
KEZI 9 News went inside the restaurant Thursday and saw multiple people dining in. We also reached out to the owners, Laurie and Lance Mounts, but they declined to comment.
Customers said the restaurant has been open since last Friday when Douglas County went back to the extreme risk guidelines.
Some people told KEZI 9 News that restaurants like Casey’s should have the right to be open right now, as long as they’re being safe.
“As long as they’re somewhat following the guidelines,” said Gerry Gerlach. “You can’t let people sit four feet from each other, you know what I mean.”
He also said these guidelines are hurting small businesses more than anything.
“Even though they’re classifying it as being extreme, I don’t see the necessity for shutting down the restaurants,” he said. “Everyone has to make a living. They can always cut back how many people they have in the restaurant.”
At Hacienda Vieja in Roseburg, the owners opened their business for the first time in December. They said starting a new business during the pandemic has been tough, but they said they wouldn’t reopen against the state guidelines because they don’t want to risk losing their business altogether.
“I hope all of this passes soon,” said Jose Uribe. “Everyone needs to have a business, everyone needs to be okay in the business. If we keep this business closed, it’s going to be hard for everyone.”
Last May, Casey’s restaurant was fined nearly $14,000 by Oregon OSHA for reopening against Gov. Kate Brown’s first stay-at-home order. They have appealed that fine.
A spokesperson at Oregon OSHA said they do not have an open investigation on any businesses in Douglas County. However, they said they do have one open complaint against Casey’s Restaurant at this time and they will be looking into it.