Phase 3 allows 50% restaurant capacity, but some are sticking with outdoor dining

SEATTLE — As all of Washington moved to phase 3 of the COVID-19 reopening plan on Monday, restaurants were allowed to increase their indoor capacity from 25% to 50%.

But just because they can doesn’t mean they will.

Restaurateur Ethan Stowell is still cautious.

He’s focused more on outdoor dining.

“For the most part, it’s not a big change,” Stowell said about phase 3. “We’ll probably keep our indoor seating roughly the same. We might add on a couple of tables, but that’s about it.”

At Marjorie Restaurant on Capitol Hill, all the tables are outside.

“Most reservation requests we get are for outside. A lot of people are saying to us, ‘If you’re seating inside, we want to make it clear we prefer an outside table,’” said owner Donna Moodie.

The COVID-19 crisis is not yet over, and she doesn’t plan to reopen indoor seating quite yet.

“My staff strongly feels like they don’t want to have inside service until after they’re all vaccinated,” Moodie said.

Movie theaters are also allowed to open to half capacity.

But Seattle’s Central Cinema is staying closed, telling us it’s waiting for a fully vaccinated staff to make sure there isn’t another wave of cases.