When was the last time you enjoyed a meal at a restaurant in Yakima? The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for the restaurant industry across the nation and in the Yakima Valley. The varying and sometimes confusing rules and restrictions have resulted in many restaurants closing. Just recently restaurants in eastern Washington were able to open at 25% capacity if certain rules are followed including measuring CO2 levels. Some restaurants have decided to open while others have opted to stay closed. Many restaurant owners say they can't provide the air flow through needed and don't want to invest in a CO2 monitor. State health officials say they've monitoring the pandemic and they stress the increase in vaccination will help open businesses now under restrictions.

As the spring approaches more restaurant owners are hoping to increase capacity and increase business through the 2021 Yakima Valley Restaurant Week. The week has been announced even though the restrictions continue. The announcement was made on Facebook. 2021 Yakima Valley Restaurant Week will be held April 3 through April 17. The Organizers say they're hoping for big crowds to support an industry that's been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The week was originally designed in 2018 to introduce more people to more restaurants in Yakima and while that's still the intent this year it's also designed to give an extra boost to local restaurants hit hard by the virus. If you own a restaurant and are interested in being a part of 2021 Yakima Valley Restaurant Week email yakimarestaurantweek@gmail.com

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