OREGON – About 250 people have made reservations to eat and drink at Sledgehammer’s Bar and Grill this weekend.
"All of our tables are pretty much reserved,” owner Jason Stombaugh said. “They're at all different times. The last couple of days it's been a scramble getting everything together. It'll be hit or miss. I think people are still scared to come out.”
The remodeled bar and restaurant at 1450 state Route 2, which opened Friday for the first time in 10 weeks, will feature live music from the band Shooter today on its new patio and outdoor bar.
The space, unveiled Friday, is equipped with social distancing signs, hand sanitizer and a portable bathroom.
Picnic tables were placed in front of the deck,10 feet apart and fenced in.
The menu opening night was simple, burgers and mozzarella sticks, because one of their vendors wasn’t able to come through in time, but with everything going on, the simpler the better, Melissa Stombaugh said.
Jason and Melissa both wore “Pritzker sucks” masks, and Jason dressed as a prisoner in an outfit bearing the governor’s name. Pritzker was “intentionally” trying to keep businesses closed during the COVID-19 shutdown, he said.
"I'm glad things got turned around. It's not about us having to be closed," said Jason, who also owns a construction business. "It didn't need to be. It felt like our rights were being taken away."
Robb and Terri Basler sat with drinks on the upper level of the deck. They were drawn out by the fresh air and nice weather, and a desire to help small businesses that have been closed.
“Eating out is something we do sporadically,” Robb Basler said. “Now, it's something about supporting local establishments. This place has only been up for a year. You almost feel like it's your civic duty to go and do it.”
Find Sledgehammer's on Facebook for more details.