13 Michigan restaurants fined for COVID-19 epidemic order violations

The fines were issued in December against establishments that opened indoor dining facilities
FILE. The Rock House Grill & Tavern in Houghton and Café Rosetta in Calumet.
FILE. The Rock House Grill & Tavern in Houghton and Café Rosetta in Calumet.(WLUC)
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 5:33 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Thirteen restaurants around Michigan received fines in December for violating epidemic orders from the state health department.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the fines this week, which were issued from Dec. 2 to 16. Two restaurants in Mid-Michigan are among the 13 to face state sanctions.

State health officials issued an epidemic order on Nov. 18 requiring all restaurants to close dine-in service, but they were allowed to remain open for delivery or carryout. All high schools and indoor entertainment venues, among others, also were required to close.

The epidemic order was extended in December, but high schools and entertainment venues were allowed to reopen. Restaurant dining rooms must remain closed until Jan. 15, however.

“I thank the vast majority of restaurant and bar owners for helping us contain the spread of COVID-19 by temporarily closing their indoor service,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon. “We continue to see improvements in the numbers, and we know that the public health orders we have put in place are working. I look forward to the day when indoor service can reopen.”

Restaurants face a $1,000 fine for each day that they open for dine-in service in violation of the epidemic order. The fines levied in December include:

  • Café Rosetta of Calumet -- $4,000.
  • Big Boy of Sandusky -- $5,000.
  • Hatorando Sushi of Hartland -- $2,000.
  • Iron Pig Smokehouse of Gaylord -- $5,000.
  • Rockhouse Grill & Tavern of Houghton -- $1,000.
  • Spangler’s Family Restaurant of Jonesville -- $11,000.
  • Cravin of Hudson -- $1,000.
  • Bernita Mae Café of Sand Lake -- $4,000.
  • Jimmy’s Roadhouse of Newaygo -- $1,000.
  • D&R Daily Grind of Portage -- $2,000.
  • Wild Roast Coffee of Grandville -- $2,000.
  • Woodchips Barbecue of Lapeer -- $4,000
  • John Cowley & Sons Irish Pub of Farmington -- $1,000

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued the fines after receiving information from health departments and police agencies across the state about restaurants failing to comply with the epidemic orders.

“Most food service establishments like restaurants and bars have helped play a critical role in the existing decline by following the order,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who is Michigan’s chief medical executive.

In addition to the 13 fines, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has suspended licenses for 31 bars and restaurants over COVID-19 violations.

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