Edmonds companies split over keeping steatters, paying fees

Edmonds companies split over keeping steatters, paying fees

Others, like Seattle, plan to keep them around for the rest of the year. Some cities are starting to phase them out. >> Download KING 5’s Roku and Amazon Fire apps to watch live newscasts and video on demand

“We’ve had people ask how many plates of nachos, how many beers do we have to sell to make up for the fee, and I don’t know,” said owner Jeff Bennett. “I do know that we’re focusing on making our workers the priority, right now. I had pay raises go out to my staff last week.”   The business said the newly imposed $2,000 fee to use the parking spots in front of the pub, combined with a hike in the minimum wage, proved to be too much to absorb.

Streateries are outdoor eating spaces approved by cities across the country to help restaurants stay in business during the pandemic. Workers dismantled the “streatery” they’ve embraced for more than a year and a half.

“It’s hard because we have quite a few people who are still not comfortable eating indoors,” Barnett said. “Our safety concerns are making sure our guests feel comfortable and our staff is safe, but we still have to keep the lights on.” The Edmonds City Council passed the fee last week. It allows restaurants to break the fee down into $500 monthly installments. The streatery program is scheduled to expire at the end of April. Barnett would love to keep the outdoor dining, which leaves him with some difficult decisions.

Then there is the uncertainty of the raging omicron variant. In Edmonds, Barnett is losing about 20 seats, a third of his total capacity. With that will surely come a loss in revenue.

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