Plus, another official warns of King County’s likely phase 2 rollback, and Le Rêve Bakery undergoes name change under new ownership
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Washington Taprooms Push for Rule Change to Help Free Up Grant Money
There’s a technicality in the rules for federal small business grants that prevents Washington taprooms from applying for cash via the new $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund — and they’re pushing for a change. Per the Small Business Association (SBA) guidelines, breweries, wineries, and other taprooms cannot apply for grant money through the fund unless at least 33 percent of their profits comes from onsite consumption, such as food and tastings. However, Washington state law doesn’t allow any of those types of businesses to make more than 30 percent of sales from onsite consumption. Now, a contingent of state lawmakers are requesting that the SBA make a change to its grant requirements to accommodate the three percent difference and help taprooms receive much-needed grants during the pandemic. Eater Seattle reached out to the SBA to see if there was a status change yet, and will update this item as more info comes in.
Health Official Warns of King County’s Likely Phase 2 Rollback
At this point, it seems inevitable that King County will have to reinstitute restaurant-related restrictions soon. A week after Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan warned of the possibility that the area would go back to phase 2 (reducing indoor dining from 50 percent to 25 percent), King County’s director of public health Patty Hayes echoed that concern. On Tuesday, April 27, she told the county’s council that, unless something drastic changes, there will likely be an announcement soon about the rollback. The latest metrics show that the county has more than 200 COVID cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, and more than 5 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, both over the thresholds required to stay in phase 3. Gov. Jay Inslee has changed the requirements to stay in phase 3 before, but thus far hasn’t signaled a willingness to do so again. Barring any drastic change in trends, this means Seattle restaurants should prepare to reduce indoor capacity by May 7, when the rollback to phase 2 would go into effect.
Queen Anne’s Le Rêve Bakery Changes Name Under New Ownership
In 2020, Olympia Coffee Roasting — a growing company based in Olympia, Washington, with two outposts in Seattle — took over South Lake Union’s longtime sweets destination Le Rêve Bakery, which was formerly its wholesale partner. Now, after months of making some minor changes (natural wine offerings, outdoor seating), the bakery will be officially renamed Moonrise Bakery under Olympia’s ownership. Among some of the offerings at the newish place are kouign amann, twice-baked almond croissant, pain au chocolate, and a lemon olive oil cake, which isn’t too much of a departure from the small-batch pastries Le Rêve served before (one change, though, is that cakes will be made on an individual sizing basis rather than the larger ones before, at least for now). And, in addition to wine, there will of course be Olympia Coffee on the new drinks menu.