ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Gilberto’s Mexican Restaurant on NE Stephens Street reopened for dine-in just a few days before Gov. Kate Brown plans to allow some counties to begin reopening. However, they’re only serving customers on the patio.
Co-owner Gilbert Duarte told KEZI 9 News that he suggested the idea to the Douglas County's environmental health department when the stay-at-home executive order was put in place in March.
He said they were completely on board because customers would be served out in the open.
“(I asked) the health department if I can serve people outside, and they thought, yes, six feet apart and out in the air,” said Duarte.
However, a spokesperson for the county told KEZI 9 News that environmental health never gave the restaurant permission to reopen, specifically their patio. They said the governor is the only one who has jurisdiction to reopen restaurants. Also, they said only the state can determine whether or not “outdoor dine-in” violates the executive order.
Duarte said the community has been very supportive of his decision.
“We just thought go with it,” said Duarte. “Go ahead. We opened up the patio and it’s been a very positive experience.”
Last week, Casey’s Restaurant on Garden Valley Boulevard also reopened for dine-in. Officials told KEZI 9 News that they have been reported to the Oregon Health Authority and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
However, Duarte said he’s in full support of the owners of Casey’s.
“He has to do what he has to do,” said Duarte. “We have to do what we have to do.”