Some downtown Flint restaurants struggle with water emergency

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FLINT (WJRT) - (10/08/15) - Flint's Water Emergency is not only stopping people from drinking water at home, it's having an effect on restaurants trying to lure customers to eat in the city. They hope the Governor's announcement on Thursday helps to ease their customer's fears.

"And it did make me wonder where is your water coming from? Is it coming from the Flint water, or is it filtered, or do you offer bottled water?” asked Jia Ireland, who lives in Flint.

"We get questions all the time, we get people calling every day asking about the water,” said Tiff Sommers, manager at Café Rhema.

Sommers tells us they just installed a reverse osmosis system - that's in addition to other filters that were already in place. Sommers says those precautions are paying off.

"Business honestly has still been booming. We're very fortunate and very blessed to still be just as busy even with the water crisis,” she said.

The story is similar down the street at Flint Crepe Company.

"We haven't seen any effect in business whatsoever since the whole thing came out so, you know, we're just lucky I guess,” said co-owner Chris Day.

Other restaurants haven't been so fortunate. At the Lunch Studio, bottled water, a cooler and a water softener were all used to meet customer concerns.

"Then I made sure that I got on Facebook and told everybody what was going on. I mean I do feel like it was affecting business a bit,” said owner Tracey Whelpley.

Cork on Saginaw is also dealing with serious water worries.

"I wasn't concerned too much until this weekend. I definitely saw a downslide in sales, and the last couple nights. And we're usually pretty consistent. In fact, business has been on the upswing if anything, so I feel that it has to be the water issue,” said co-owner and executive chef Marjorie Murphy.

The owners hoping the return to the Detroit Water System will help them return to normal.

"The water's filtered, you can always buy bottled water. At this point I'm considering giving it away as well. Whatever it takes for people to feel comfortable,” Murphy said.



 
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