Greektown shuts down streets, Detroit police pushing masks to prevent COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are surging in parts of the country and many outbreaks are being tied to restaurants and bars.

DETROITCoronavirus (COVID-19) cases are surging in parts of the country and many outbreaks are being tied to restaurants and bars.

On Friday night, one of Detroit’s most popular nightlife spots blocked off streets to traffic to make way for more social distancing.

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The outbreak has gotten so bad in states like Florida and Texas they decided to ban bars from serving alcohol or shut them down completely.

It’s a different traffic flow, Friday night in Detroit’s Greektown. If you’re driving up Monroe, you will be stopped at Monroe and Beaubien.

Patti Kukula with Delmar Kitchen and Bar in Greektown said the new effort is part of the Greektown Business Partnership Network. They requested the street closure this weekend to help out with pedestrian traffic flow.

“We’ve been really learning how to socially distance and how to make sure everyone is wearing masks when they’re inside,” Kukula said.

Earlier this week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced he’s demanding all restaurants and bars enforce social distancing.

Friday night, several officers made sure people have a mask on. Some were even passing them out.

“They’re enforcing that people have masks on, that helps the restaurants, they don’t have to talk with patrons a lot, saying hey you got to wear your mask,” Kukula said.

Mohamed Elmardi with Brass Rail Pizza Bar agrees with Duggan. He said he’s taking extra measures to make sure customers obey the new rules.

“Even today, I had an incident where there were like 15 people. I went to them and say, ‘Hey, it’s only 10 per table, per party, so you guys going to have to work it out,‘” Elmardi said.

The restaurant owners said they will close the area every weekend and reopen it during the week.

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About the Authors:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.