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Mount Pleasant restaurant voluntarily shuts down indoor dining due to COVID-19

A restaurant just outside of Mount Pleasant has shut down indoor dining in the wake of a rise in COVID-19 cases.
A restaurant just outside of Mount Pleasant has shut down indoor dining in the wake of a rise...
A restaurant just outside of Mount Pleasant has shut down indoor dining in the wake of a rise in COVID-19 cases.(Colton Cichoracki WJRT)
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 3:45 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WJRT) - A restaurant just outside of Mount Pleasant has shut down indoor dining in the wake of a rise in COVID-19 cases. The owner made the decision before Governor Gretchen Whitmer made a request to pause indoor service.

Governor Whitmer called on people in Michigan to forgo indoor dining for two weeks because of the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state during a press conference last Friday.

Before that press conference, the owner of Maxon’s Blue Country Barbecue decided to shut down indoor dining.

“With the way Mid-Michigan numbers are just going up, we just felt like it was the right thing to do for our specific situation,” said Doug Maxon, the restaurant’s owner.

Maxon made the decision so they could help try and slow the spread of the coronavirus. He said they don’t have a ton of space on the inside and did not need a government order to make this call.

“I think that’s the biggest thing in the restaurant industry at this time is that as business owners, we just have to be ready to adjust, willing to adjust and it doesn’t have to be the government or the state or the license holders that tell us how to adjust to make it the best for our personal business,” he said.

According to the state’s latest data, Isabella County has a nearly 21% positivity rate with COVID-19 tests.

“We’ve had a handful of restaurants that we’ve seen around here in the Mount Pleasant, central Michigan area that have had to close down again for two weeks because they have staff members that test positive,” Maxon said. “You know, that’s never out of the realm of possibility.”

Being a barbecue joint, Maxon said his restaurant is already catered to outdoors anyway so he doesn’t think his business will take too much of a hit and said that if shutting down indoor dining makes even a small difference, then it’s worth it.

“I’m not a scientist, I don’t know all of the ins and outs,” Maxon said. “All I can do is listen to what people tell me and go forward with those decisions to make it safer for everybody.”

Maxon said he plans to use the space inside the restaurant for seating for other things, including bringing shaved ice snowballs to his menu.

Indoor service at Maxon’s Blue Country Barbecue will be shut down for the foreseeable future, Maxon noted.

Maxon’s Blue Country Barbecue is located just west of Mount Pleasant along M-20 and is offering takeout and outdoor seating.

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