Detroit restaurants taking cautious approach to reopening amid COVID-19 pandemic

City of Detroit expedites outdoor seating for restaurants

DETROIT – In an attempt to help restaurants get their people back to work the city of Detroit is expediting the process for permitting of outdoor restaurant seating as well as the possibility of closing streets to traffic to increase outdoor seating.

READ: Michigan Gov. Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order across state, reopening restaurants, more

“Detroit City Council today unanimously passed a resolution to allow city agencies to do 24 turnaround on sidewalk permits,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said.

Restaurants are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity next Monday, but don’t expect everything to open back up immediately.

Restaurateur Jeremy Sasson, who owns destination dining like Prime and Proper in Detroit, has 400 employees who need to be recalled and retrained in the time of coronavirus (COVID-19): “I’m not willing to sacrifice being open in exchange for possibly serving a bad guest experience or asking our staff to try to get ready and perform on short notice,” Sasson said.

READ: Here’s everything that’s reopening in Michigan now that stay-at-home order has been lifted

Which is why he will start by reopening Townhouse Birmingham next week and then eventually reopen Townhouse Detroit as well as Prime and Proper over the coming weeks.

He says the reopening is like the grand opening of a restaurant.

“It’s a huge mountain to climb operationally, basically you have to restart the business.”

READ: Here’s a list of 27 types of businesses that are still closed in Michigan

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