Mid-Michigan bars prepare for busy night with some challenges

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:28 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - This Thanksgiving Eve, bars are anticipating big crowds, while also dealing with staffing issues.

Last year during Thanksgiving, they were open for outdoor dining only. This year, there are new challenges -- including staffing shortages and supply chain issues.

“Seems like there’s a shortage on everything nowadays. When you go to the bank, you can only get one roll of quarters per day and the liquor is like hit or miss when you order from the state,” said Vic Preston, owner of Preston’s Bar.

Preston said he’s been preparing for Wednesday night and is fully stocked. Nearly all of his staff is on the schedule.

“Everybody is just kind of chipping in. We’re just kind of rolling with it. We only have a handful of them,” Preston said. “That’s kind of how it’s always been but the ones we do have, they’re really good employees.”

Wednesday afternoon, the Mayfair Bar was pretty busy with people watching the Michigan State basketball game, but the owner expected a much bigger crowd at night.

“We’ll have gentlemen at the door and if there’s a line out the door, we’re strictly staying with the occupancy limits that we have. So we’ll be at capacity early,” said Bret Story, owner of the Mayfair Bar.

Story said like most businesses, he’s had trouble hiring, but Wednesday is all hand on deck.

“Everybody was prepared for tonight. They know this is just a night you have to work and everybody is looking forward to it. It’s a big money night for everybody,” said Story.

If you do plan to go out to drink, don’t forget to arrange a safe ride home.

Related: Thanksgiving travel expected to bounce back -- What Michiganders can expect on their holiday drive

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