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Seattle businesses cautiously optimistic about June 30 reopening

A set date for fully reopening Washington state is welcome news for businesses, but some still urge patience.

SEATTLE — For people hanging out or working in Seattle's Pioneer Square, the governor's announcement the state will reopen on June 30 evokes mixed feelings. 

For Erin Lindsay and Josh McDowell of West Seattle, the news is great. 

"The more people that are vaccinated, the better it is for everybody. So hopefully that encourages people, definitely," Lindsay said. 

A full reopening could lead to sports events returning to their pre-pandemic turnouts.

"If everybody is good to go and it's a safe environment, then absolutely it should open back up and I don't mind being in a stadium full of people who are vaccinated," McDowell said.

Others are more skeptical and wonder how one could prove they are fully vaccinated.

"How are they going to regulate that, you know?" said Gray Hosford, of Seattle

While the process of reopening may be uncertain, Hosford said the change is hopeful news for businesses.

"There have been enough victims in this pandemic and businesses closed, so yeah, I understand that there's an urgency to return to normalcy, but people need to be patient," Hosford said.

Nestor Diaz, a sales representative for Half Lion Brewing Co. based in Sumner and Kent, said the brewery business has had to evolve through the pandemic, including modifying some of their operations by adding drive-through service.

"To see the struggles that we had to go through and every time we've had a little bit of hope, a gray cloud has come by and rain on our parade and having to start again from the beginning. So it's been a little difficult because you don't want to get too excited anymore. Let's hope that everything works out," Diaz said.

Richard Ramirez, a bartender at Trophy Pizza in Pioneer Square, said the announcement is exciting news after a year and a half of enduring restrictions.

Formerly called Quality Athletics, the pandemic forced the business to pivot from a sit-down restaurant to a pizza place by removing some of the indoor dining tables and offering more take-out service options.

"Everybody's doing their own part, everybody's doing their thing, and I hope for a steady upbringing of business. That would be awesome," Ramirez said.