Not every Oregon restaurant is waiting on Gov. Kate Brown's sanction to reopen dining rooms.
Canby police officers responded to a call Saturday, May 2, that a local diner, Pappy's Greasy Spoon, was open and operating dine-in services, the Canby Now Podcast first reported May 4.
When officers arrived, they observed 8 to 10 people seated at tables inside the restaurant eating, and a waitress standing over one of the tables taking an order, according to the police report obtained by WW.
"Please let us finish our meal before you shut it down," one of the diners said jokingly to police, the report says.
The waitress called over a man who appeared to be cooking, who reportedly said to the officers, "I figured it would be just a matter of time before I saw you guys here."
The owner, who identified himself as Mike Merrill (aka Pappy), told the officers that he was aware he was violating the governor's order, "but the to-go meals were not cutting it and he has bills to pay."
Merrill told the officers he was using every other table to maintain social distancing, and that all utensils and items were sanitized between uses.
"Mr. Merrill is under the belief that coronavirus has been blown out of proportion and the government's attempts to mitigate it are all just a placebo helping citizens feel better," the police report says. "Mr. Merrill agreed to keep his restaurant seating area closed and make orders for takeout only. He is hoping the governor will open restaurants on May 15 and has a plan to mitigate the risk to his patrons at that time."
Merrill did not immediately respond to WW's request for comment.
Canby, a town of roughly 15,000 people 21 miles south of Portland, is located in Clackamas County—the metro county that has already voiced the loudest objections to Brown's stay-home order. Last month, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum warned the mayor of Oregon City he faced civil and criminal penalties if he followed through on talk of reopening his city for business.