Davison bar and bistro getting creative to push past next three weeks

Restaurant association files lawsuit to help restaurants keep their indoor dining open
Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 11:54 PM EST
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DAVISON, Mich. (WJRT) - (11/17/2020) - The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association is pushing back, filing a lawsuit against the state health department for closing indoor dining.

The hope is that a federal judge will step in and say the order is unconstitutional.

The association says they were willing to compromise, offering to operate at 25 percent capacity instead of 50 percent and abide by a 10:00 p.m. curfew.

“This lawsuit is brought forth solely and completely to try to keep an industry that is beleaguered, that is on its last legs afloat during a challenging time," Justin Winslow told ABC12 during a Zoom interview.

Winslow is the President and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association.

He says shutting down indoor dining for three weeks could mean 40 percent of restaurants closing temporarily and laying off about 250,000 employees who have no stimulus to fall back on.

With a lawsuit up in the air, restaurants are reacting to closing their indoor dining for the next three weeks.

“It’s devastating as a business owner when you put everything you have into your business, and it’s your dream, and then all of a sudden, you have to close the doors," Angela Hudson said.

Hudson is the owner of The Agitated Grape in Davison. In an effort to keep people as safe as can be while still running her business, she’s getting creative by setting up two heated igloos in the patio area.

“That will obviously help. It’s not going to obviously make up for the whole bar being shut down, but hopefully it’ll keep us going, and I can keep at least a handful of employees making some kind of income," Hudson said.

ABC12 reached out to the state health department for comment.

The director, Robert Gordon, said in part, “The sooner Michiganders put a pause on indoor social gatherings, the more lives we will save, and the sooner we will be able to resume our normal social lives, including eating out, without fear."

The department added that this type of outdoor dining is still allowed under the new order, saying, “Outdoor dining at a food service establishment is permitted. Additionally, a single household may dine inside an igloo, hut, or other small, enclosed space without violating the order, provided that employees enter fleetingly or not at all.”

They’re also encouraging everyone to support their favorite restaurants by ordering takeout or delivery.

That’s something Hudson also says is so important since so many people depend on small businesses just to survive.

To book a reservation for the igloo, click here.

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