Lapeer restaurant owner cautiously eager to reopen dine-in services

Published: May. 12, 2020 at 3:48 PM EDT
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(05/12/2020) -- The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association is calling on Governor Whitmer to allow restaurants to re-open dine-in services on May 29th.

If and when that does happen, will bars and restaurants be ready and will customers feel safe?

One thing is for certain, and that there will be an entirely new normal.

"Before we open the dining area, we're going to have a company come in and sanitize everything including carpets, tile, booths and chairs, said Jeff Ryeson, who owns E.G. Nick's in Lapeer.

Ryeson said he's prepared to go above and beyond to get customers back in the door once he gets the green light from the governor.

"We're going to go to disposable menus, in between seating, we're going to sanitize the area, staff will wear masks."

Ryeson said he plans to follow whatever guidelines are issued by the state and health department to a T. But he also knows when it does come time to reopen, there most likely will be challenges, like limited capacity.

"As far as putting barriers between tables and booths, we're not set up for that. We can go every other booth, every other table."

And that means less business come the end of the day. Ryeson said he's been doing well with carry outs, but once dining in opens back up and he brings back his staff, he's hopeful that business will continue with safety in mind.

"We're going to do everything in our power to make sure that experience is at the safest level we can possibly do."

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