Metro Detroit businesses respond to lifting of COVID capacity, mask restrictions

Indoor, outdoor settings can increase to 100% capacity starting Tuesday (June 22)

COVID Restrictions in Michigan to end June 22: Reaction from restaurants, gyms
COVID Restrictions in Michigan to end June 22: Reaction from restaurants, gyms

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan is lifting all of its COVID restrictions for capacity, masks and gatherings next week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced.

Read: Michigan to lift all COVID restrictions on capacity, masks, gatherings June 22

Mask mandates and capacity limits will disappear Tuesday. Mandatory COVID testing in many places will end as well. Only a few emergency orders surrounding vulnerable populations will remain.

How are gyms and restaurants responding? It’s no secret that the restrictions hit these industries hard.

For those that remain open, like Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, the 100% opening rules are good news, but it doesn’t mean the state will be fully open Tuesday.

Owner Ari Weinzweig said he’s glad the restrictions are ending, but he’s in no hurry to get back to pre-pandemic seating. Roadhouse is seating 100 people currently and that would mean a jump to 255.

“People have got to order the food, prep the food,” Weinzweig said. “You have got to make sure you have people in house ready to go and ready to do the work. It’s a big switch, so we’ll get there. We’re not going to automatically turn it up to 100%.”

Zingerman’s customers -- like Robb Harper of Detroit -- is happy to put his spatula away.

“I’m grateful because, as a patron, it gives me the opportunity to get back out and help support the local businesses,” Harper said. “My cooking is not that great.”

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association released the following statement Thursday:

Alyssa Tushman lost one of her three gyms to bankruptcy during the pandemic and as the co-chair of the Michigan Fitness Club Association, she also doesn’t expect things to open up immediately either.

“Ramping up gym memberships is a time consuming process and it’s going to take time,” Tushman said. “It’s not an overnight process.”

When will the state get back to normal?

“I don’t think Michigan will ever get back to normal,” said Zingerman’s customer Katherine Smith. “But we will see the new normal by the end of the summer.”

More: Reopening Michigan

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.