Pullman businesses are either closing temporarily or allowing limited services in response to state-mandated restrictions on bars, restaurants and other establishments.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday he is ordering all bars, restaurants, entertainment and recreation facilities to temporarily close to fight the spread of COVID-19. Carry-out, delivery and drive-through food and beverage services are not banned.
Many Pullman businesses have closed their doors, while others that can offer take-out, delivery or drive-through are planning to do so to serve customers and keep its staff employed.
South Fork, Birch and Barley, Cougar Country Drive In, Zeppoz, South Fork, the Black Cypress and Porchlight Pizza are among the businesses now focusing their efforts on creating delivery and carry-out services for its customers.
Lumberyard, a large food hall on North Grand Avenue, announced on Facebook it will be closed until fall. The Coug, a popular bar on College Hill, announced on social media it is serving food to-go after Washington State University’s spring break ends and will make more announcements about its food service later. My Office Bar and Grill wrote on Facebook it is evaluating the situation and will update customers on any changes in hours of operation.
Etsi Bravo wrote on Facebook it is setting up an online store and will offer discounted gift cards.
Pullman coffee shops such as Cafe Moro, Roost and Daily Grind will remain open but only for take out and drive-through orders.
Cafe Moro owner Tyson Feasel said his business is shortening its hours and will close at 2 p.m. He was planning to hold a staff meeting Monday night to discuss these changes with his staff.
He said it is difficult to plan for an uncertain future and predict how it will affect sales and his staff.
“We don’t know how long this will go on,” he said.
Feasel has already seen a 47-percent drop in sales. He is checking state resources that provide unemployment benefits.
Roost manager Lindsey Dingman said the coffee shop is also shortening its hours as it transitions to only serving food and drinks to go. She said staff also is sanitizing the building more often.
Dingman expects the coming days will not be kind to business.
“I think it will slow it down quite a bit,” she said.
Other establishments are affected, as well.
Planet Fitness was closed Monday with a notice stating the gym will reopen as soon as it is permitted. All Whitman County Libraries and Neill Public Library in Pullman are closed until further notice. All due dates for library items have been extended until the libraries reopen.
Noshies, a beer, wine and cheese shop, on Kamiaken Street, is not required to close. The owner, Willow Falcon, is remaining optimistic her business will weather the COVID-19 fears and the possible loss of WSU student customers.
Falcon said her store’s selection of items and location appeals to permanent residents, as well as students. She said her business can handle the downturn that comes with other slow times of the year, such as the summer months, and she believes it can handle the current state of affairs.
“It’s just a longer summer and I’m not worried about that,” she said.
The Pullman Chamber of Commerce website now includes links to resources that can help businesses such as Washington Labor and Industries, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Employment Security Department.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.