Well, crap. After a brief and much anticipated reopening, the Logger Bar, Blue Lake's iconic watering hole, has shut its doors once again. Owner Kate Martin, who'd closed the bar for more than a year and put it up for sale, spoke with the Journal
last month about the additional outdoor seating she hoped would help keep customers safe with COVID-19 still circulating and much of the county still unvaccinated.
In her Facebook post, Martin says how "deeply wonderful" the last three weeks of being open have been. "However, due to the sharp increase of Covid-19 cases in Humboldt County it no longer feels in the best interest of our community to stay open at this time." (See the full post below.) That increase yielded a single-day record of 69 confirmed new cases on Friday, July 30, and a test-positivity rate of 10.1 percent for the month of July, the highest for any month since the pandemic began.
Over the phone, Martin, who is vaccinated herself and has been getting tested weekly, says she knows vaccinated people who've fallen ill with so-called breakthrough cases of COVID-19. Serving only outside, she says, isn't worth it financially and it's impractical to require masks indoors for people who are drinking. Martin adds that she has people in her life with medical issues that make them particularly vulnerable. "I don't want to have to choose between running my business and spending time with my family."
For her, says Martin, especially in a community like Blue Lake with so many older residents, being open doesn't feel right. But she's hopeful about reopening if and when Humboldt's COVID-19 infection numbers go down. Hopefully, she says, it won't be another year. We'll drink to that.