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Restaurants react to governor’s new order to close serving indoors

A big disappointment for bar owners on Wednesday after Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered some bars to stop serving indoors to slow the spread of COVID-19.
A big disappointment for bar owners on Wednesday after Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered some bars to stop serving indoors to slow the spread of COVID-19.(WILX)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 11:36 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Bar owners said they’re disappointed Wednesday after Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered some of them to stop serving indoors to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I’m a bar and to cut my ability to make income by two-thirds is ridiculous,” Onondaga Tavern owner Chris Potter said.

The governor announced Wednesday that most bars in the lower part of Michigan will have to close indoor services. A bar will have to stop indoor services if it makes more than 70% of their gross receipts from alcohol sales.

However, they still will be able to continue service outside.

To see the full executive order, click here.

Potter said he will do what he can to stay afloat, but that the order is drastically affecting his plans to stay open.

“Through the whole quarantine I did everything per what the governor said and for us to be able to get back open and now she’s yanking the carpet back from under us, you know, and shutting us down again,” Potter said. “I’m nervous to see how many bars don’t make it out of this.”

Greg Sinicropi is co-owner of Art’s Pub in Lansing. He said he understands why the order is being put in place and feels lucky that it doesn’t affect his business.

“We run restaurants that serve alcohol, not bars that sell food,” Sinicropi said. “We’re over 50 percent food at all of our locations.”

He added that while he is still allowed to stay open, he is taking all necessary safety precautions to keep people safe inside and out.

“We’ve taken a very proactive approach at arts and it was even I think before Harper’s,” Sinicropi said, adding that masks are required to enter Art’s Pub.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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