FERNDALE, Mich. – Downtown Ferndale was quiet on the night before Thanksgiving.
Normally, Nine Mile Road would be flooded with people going from bar to bar and fighting for parking spots. With the current three-week restriction on bars and restaurants, things were low key.
“It doesn’t feel like the day before Thanksgiving,” said Brandon Leclerc of Sterling Heights.
Leclerc came back from Chicago for Thanksgiving. He and Jon Barsoon, also from Sterling Heights, understand the restrictions and the risks.
“I would come home around this time of the year... get together with my buddies from high school. This year’s a little bit different. It’s tough,” Leclerc said.
“Everybody seems to be keeping their distance, every other table kind of policy. Seems to be under control, seems to be handle the proper way,” Barsoon said.
The first shutdown forced bars to miss out on St. Patrick’s Day, and many are exhausting every effort to salvage the eve of Thanksgiving. Many establishments in Metro Detroit, like the M3 Gratiot Pub in Clinton Township, have enclosed and ventilated an outdoor space and try to attract as many customers as they can.
The restriction, which started on Nov. 18, is effective through Dec. 8.
Nearly 200 bars and restaurants in the city of Detroit applied for outdoor seating so they can earn some kind of revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those permits are set to expire in one week. However, Detroit will still allow winter outdoor seating through a new set of permits.