King County phase 2 means salons, restaurants can allow more customers

SEATTLE — At Gene Juarez Salon and Spa in Bellevue, stylists are finally back at work and folks are slowly inching towards a new normal.

“We’re excited to be open. And seeing our guests and giving people a tiny bit of control back over their lives,” said Chief Operating Officer Katie Trent.

With King County now in Phase 2, the salon, which has 10 locations throughout Western Washington, is taking guests at 50% of capacity. Both the stylists and guests wear masks and stations are spaced for social distancing.

Trent said the salon is working to get people in and out as quickly as possible and asking clients to wait in their cars until it's time for their appointment.

“We are at this point not blow drying hair just to reduce any potential risk of virus particles floating around and to get people out 10 to 15 minutes out sooner than they would otherwise,” added Trent.

Restaurants can also now welcome diners half capacity both inside and out.

“I’ve been doing the math and looking at our spaces. We’re going to be able to get 30-35% seating capacity inside the restaurants so it’s not a true 50% because of social distancing, but it is better than nothing,” said Chef Ethan Stowell.

Stowell, who owns a number of restaurants in Seattle, has already opened his restaurants with patios like Frelard Pizza and Bramling Cross for outdoor dining. But it will take a little longer for people to eat inside again. He said he's taking it slowly and deliberately to ensure everyone's safety.

“I think in about a week, we’ll start allowing some inside seating. A week maybe two, depending if we can get all the equipment and all the necessary stuff organized and get table layouts properly,” explained Stowell.