Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Christopher Kim
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

Mill Creek has fully reopened

Businesses celebrate lifting of most COVID restrictions

 

Last updated 7/23/2021 at 11:12am

Beacon photo by Christopher Kim

Tablas Woodstone Taverna is now open for full business days after having a limited schedule. Customers are invited to enjoy a meal with fresh entrees and drinks on the menu.

After more than 15 months of social and business restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, things are starting to return to normal capacity, giving local communities and businesses a chance to breathe again.

On June 30, most of the statewide COVID restrictions were lifted. In most cases, masks and physical distancing guidelines have now become optional.

​​Unvaccinated people must still wear masks, and indoor gatherings of more than 10,000 must meet certain requirements. Masks must also still be worn at healthcare facilities, public transportation, and congregate settings, such as schools or daycare centers.

Otherwise, things appear to be returning to normal. Most businesses are now free from occupancy limits, which is great news for the restaurants in Mill Creek.

“Business has been really good recently,” said Amy Peterson, the general manager of Tablas Woodstone Taverna. “We’re very excited to be fully open and to get more customers.”

Tablas Woodstone Taverna is in its first week of full business days after having a limited schedule.

“We’ve updated our menu, and we’re getting back to having our ‘fresh sheet,’ which has our monthly specials,” she said. “We have new entrees on the menu, and are continuing to keep up with the Tablas standard and bringing fresh food and fresh drinks.”

Peterson feels that things are getting back to normal. The biggest challenge is being short-staffed. Other than that, she is looking forward to “a life after COVID.”

The food industry had been hit especially hard at the start of the pandemic. Many have had to limit their services to takeout or shut down completely.

The state had later imposed strict indoor dining capacity limits of 25%, and then 50%. Those restrictions are now a thing of the past to the applause of many local restaurants.

For Spotted Cow Coffee Company, this means more opportunities to reconnect with people again, especially the regulars.

“It’s super fun to catch up with them and actually see their faces,” said barista Noah Rettinger.

“I like to talk about what they’ve been doing during COVID and what they’re looking forward to now that things are starting to open up again.”

Spotted Cow has had open indoor seating since earlier this year, but with capacity and mask restrictions loosening, they are excited to be able to connect with the community further with the expected increase in customers.

They will even start hosting indoor concerts soon.

“We’ve got new gelato flavors coming and some new, really fun seasonal drinks as well,” Rettinger said. “We’ve got some good stuff coming.”

Restaurants aren’t the only businesses celebrating reopening, however. Gyms and fitness centers, which were among the first businesses that were impacted by the statewide shutdown, have opened to full capacity.

Mill Creek LA Fitness had faced a challenging season being closed due to COVID guidelines. With COVID restrictions beginning to lift, the business has significantly improved.

“We’re 100% active now that everything is operational,” said operations manager Fernando Galvan. “We’re happy to reopen to the community and see a lot of familiar faces come back.”

Beacon photo by Christopher Kim

Spotted Cow barista Noah Rettinger pours a cup of coffee for a customer. The best part of fully reopening is being able to reconnect with regulars and catch up with people, he said.

During the initial phases of the pandemic, LA Fitness lost a lot of members, especially those who were older. With the state lifting restrictions around gyms and fitness centers, an influx of new, younger members has helped even things out, according to Galvan.

However, membership levels are still far below what they were pre-pandemic.

“It was a struggle, but we managed to pull through that struggle,” said Galvan.

“I have become really good friends with a lot of members here, so seeing their faces again makes me really happy.”

On July 8, Mill Creek City Hall and municipal buildings were also announced to reopen to the public for in-person services as COVID restrictions were lifted. Visitors are still required to wear masks inside all City buildings.

As the state continues to make progress in battling COVID-19, many are optimistic about what the future holds and being able to put the pandemic in the past.

 

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