39ºF

Metro Detroit businesses feel impact of bar, restaurant closures

Michigan’s governor closes dine-in sections of all restaurants

DETROIT – Checker Bar in Detroit and the Detroit Taco Company in Royal Oak are among the many bars and restaurants in Metro Detroit closed to dine-in customers until the end of March.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an order to close all bars and dine-in areas in restaurants as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.

Under Executive Order 2020-9 effective Monday the following places of public accommodation will be closed; restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.

The governor closed the dine-in sections of all restaurants, only allowing service through delivery, take-out or drive-thru. It’s part of an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Hopefully this will be done and over with in two weeks. I pray to God that this ends quickly,” said Tom Teknos with the Hudson Café of Downtown Detroit.

Teknos says he understands and agrees with the governor’s actions.

“I mean you have to contain it at some point, the amount of people in certain businesses to stop spreading this virus,” said Teknos.

Michael Franklin said he eats out nearly everyday and cooking at home will be different for him, but he understands it is for safety reasons.

“I think it’s a pretty fair precaution. I’m trying to eat more at home anyways. I think everybody should want to have less contact with the public as possible,” said Franklin.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping people safe,” said Dave Finlay with Crossfit Detroit.

That’s the number one rule Finlay follows everyday when it comes to his gym members, but this time around things are a little different.

“I mean it’s going to affect everyone in the city,” he said. Finlay is talking about the coronavirus, that is spreading quickly worldwide.

“You know, there’s going to be a lot of people that now are not coming Downtown, who would normally be our clients. The way we have done the math on this, we assume it’s going to cost us at least $20,000,” said Finlay.

Emagine Theater in Royal Oak also shut its doors Monday afternoon. Finlay says this is just the beginning.

“I think this will get worse before it gets better but at the same time it is going to pass,” Finlay added.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement on the ban:

“My thoughts today are with the workers and businesses in our food and hospitality industries. It is heartbreaking that an industry built on service to others must be shut down to help protect and keep safe the families they call their customers and friends. In an effort to help them through this difficult and unexpected shutdown, I am asking our partners in the state and federal legislature to look for ways to help alleviate the financial impact of this shutdown. The Governor’s order was necessary and appropriate in light of the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves and we will be working with our state, county and local law enforcement partners to enforce the order. I am proud of the tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of workers who recognize the gravity of this situation and are responding quickly and without hesitation. We owe them our gratitude and support.”


About the Authors: