Bars happy to reopen but new health restrictions could affect business

Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 11:45 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - On Monday night bars and restaurant owners say they were happy to allow customers back for indoor dining. But the new health restrictions from the state could impact their business.

Rodney Ott, the owner of The Loft in downtown Flint, said even though the new restrictions changes the way he runs his nightclub, he will do whatever it takes in order to bring back some sort of normalcy to the Flint community.

“It’s just time to open back you know, with restrictions and also you just have to be like COVID conscious you know what I mean? We use hand sanitizer at the door, we’re wiping down the tables, we have a sign in check-in list and it’s just, I mean, time to reopen. It’s just time to reopen with caution,” said Ott.

When the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services indoor dining restrictions were loosened, Ott said he was ready to get back to work.

“I opened up for my own just to keep myself focused you know,” he said. “I haven’t had a job in like eight months per se, so I was happy to be here and see some people that I haven’t seen in a while.”

Ott said even though his business will hurt with the new indoor dining guidelines with a 25% capacity and a 10 p.m. curfew, he says that isn’t going to stop him from opening up the former nightclub.

“I’ve went from The Loft Nightclub to The Loft Lounge as I call it, because we’re closed at 10 p.m. We opened earlier normally. Our prime business hours are ten to two in the morning so without that I had to adjust,” Ott said.

Even the White Horse Tavern said they have had to make some adjustments, but they are waiting for the day when they can allow more customers to come In so they can start to make some money again.

“The numbers keep going down and hopefully we’ll get to open 50 even up to 100% soon, hopefully,” said Steve Poulos, co-owner of the White Horse Tavern.

The current epidemic order will last until Feb 21.

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