Family restaurant undecided on dine-in during Phase Two

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SEATTLE -- Purple Dot Café is a family-owned restaurant in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.

“We were a pretty popular late night spot,” said Carol Xie. “We specialize in like Asian fusion, dim sum, late-night eats.”

The restaurant laid off about 40 staff members, reduced business hours and like many restaurants has been barely getting by with just takeout.

“My dad is here open to close, every single day,” said Xie.

This week Gov. Jay Inslee went over his phased approach plan for specific industries including retail, auto dealers and hospitality.

King County is still in Phase One of “Safe Start Washington.”

“Every requirement that we put in place has been based on data, based on science and the effort to make sure we can all get our business done,” saids Inslee.

During Phase Two, restaurants can expand from takeout to customers eating in, but only at 50 percent capacity or less.

Xie said her family has different opinions about gradually reopening with the state’s timeline.

“We’re not really sure if people will want to come in or if they’ll just want to do take out,” said Xie. “There are just so many other factors to consider like single use items, utensils and menus so that’s another cost we have to think about.”

Purple Dot Café’s layout would have to be reconfigured to only allow for about 50 customers eating in instead of the usual 100 at full capacity.

The Washington Hospitality Association said the restaurant industry accounts for more than 190,000 of the state’s unemployment filings. The restaurant business is down by 70 percent.

“I’m happy that we’re able to stay open and I’m also just really grateful that the whole community stepped up,” said Xie.

The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health is giving free advice to employers on Covid-19 prevention. Click here to fill out the online form.

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