With the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus spreading through Washington state, at least 60 Seattle bars and restaurants as of Friday afternoon are requiring customers to prove they have been vaccinated to eat or drink on their premises.
The self-imposed mandate is headlined by many big names on Capitol Hill including The Unicorn, Linda’s Tavern, Rumba and Canon, and it comes as the state faces a fifth wave of infection. At least a dozen bars temporary shut down last week after their employees had tested positive for COVID-19 or came into contact with an infected person. That led many bar owners to announce over social media that proof of vaccination will now be required to dine or drink on their premises.
“No shirt, no shoes, no vaccine, no entry,” said Linda Derschang, who owns Linda’s Tavern and Oddfellows Cafe + Bar on Capitol Hill and King’s Hardware in Ballard. “This is about protecting our staff and protecting our guests,” said Derschang, who was checking COVID-19 vaccine cards on Thursday in front of her Ballard dive.
The bar industry can’t afford to shut down again because of the pandemic, and everyone needs to do their part, she said.
Because establishments are making their own rules related to proof of vaccination, the self-imposed restrictions vary. At King’s Hardware and Oddfellows, patrons who can’t prove they are vaccinated will be asked to dine in the outdoor patio area if seating is available there, management said.
At Oddfellows, those who are 16 and under aren’t required to show proof of vaccination but will be asked to wear their masks when they’re not seated.
The spike in COVID-19 cases hit the bar industry hard last week.
At Vito’s on First Hill, after an employee came into contact with an infected person, management shut down the bar last weekend and only reopened Wednesday after every employee’s COVID-19 test came back negative, said owner Greg Lundgren.
After that scare, Vito’s managers and staff concluded they would only be comfortable working if they knew every customer they served was fully vaccinated, Lundgren said.
Unicorn, one of the most popular bars on Capitol Hill’s Pike-Pine corridor, also shut down last week after two vaccinated employees were infected, prompting bar owner Adam Heimstadt to plead with colleagues who own other local bars to show solidarity by denying entry to customers who aren’t vaccinated.
“We need to all join together to require a vaccine card. It’s the only way. If some place does not do it, the people are just going to go to that bar and possibly get someone sick,” he said.
Establishments enforcing a “no vaccine, no entry policy” are mostly bars, which serves a clientele that hops from bar to bar and often comes into close contact with other patrons in a crowded space.
With the delta variant hanging around, it’s likely that the list of Seattle-area bars and restaurants that require proof of vaccination will continue to grow, but here’s a current list compiled based on establishments’ social media announcements, interviews with The Seattle Times and a list compiled by Jessica Tousignant formerly of the Seattle Restaurants United.
Seattle-area bars and restaurants now requiring proof of vaccination
- Corvus & Co
- CC Attle’s
- Inside Passage
- La Dive
- Life on Mars
- Light Sleeper
- Linda’s Tavern
- Nacho Borracho
- Oddfellows Café + Bar
- Pine Box
- Speckled & Drake
- Still Liquor
- The Cuff
- The Doctor’s Office
- The Rhino Room
- The Roanoke
- Navy Strength
- Rob Roy
- Screwdriver Bar
- Trade Winds Tavern
- Ballard Station Public House
- Hotel Albatross
- King’s Hardware
- The Barrel Thief
- Schilling Cider House
- Burke-Gilman Brewing Company
- Bad Bishop
- The Meyer
- The Good Society Brewery & Public House