Tacoma restaurant owner will wait to see if indoor dining ban gets lifted

Washington State’s latest rollback on restrictions, which includes a ban on indoor dining, is supposed to lift next Monday. But business owners are apprehensive, and some are suspecting the restrictions will be extended instead.

The owner of Uncle Thurms said he’s not going to prepare to make any changes to welcome indoor dining back, until it’s officially announced from state officials.

“I don’t care where you’re from,” said Thurmond Brokenbrough. “If you’re from Idaho I’ve got that meat loaf that’s killer, you know what I mean, if you’re from Louisiana, gumbo!”

Since the pandemic started, the soul food restaurant has lost about 50 to 60 percent of its business. With current restrictions, Brokenbrough said orders have been for either takeout or delivery.

“Take out, you’re relying more on paper product and paper products, the cost can build. So you get all your paper product then all of a sudden it’s back to dine-in,” said Brokenbrough about the back and forth restrictions. “That’s the uncertainty that people have both from the business side and the public.”

RELATED: Lewis County officials: Enforcing Covid restrictions 'too burdensome on smaller communities'

Brokenbrough’s restaurant is across the street from a school, where students haven’t been attending and instead distance-learning from home.

“I miss them, you know, with the chicken strips and fries,” said Brokenbrough. “A lot of people want to come in with their families, sit down and eat.”

Last month, Governor Jay Inslee said the restrictions would last four weeks until December 14. On Tuesday morning, the governor will hold a news conference on the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and this time discuss economic relief for individuals and businesses.