Metro Detroit Restaurants and Bars Voluntarily Closing or Pausing Indoor Dining Service
While COVID-19 cases in Michigan are triggered by the highly contagious variant B.1.1.7, the governor is urging residents not to eat in restaurants for two weeks to help contain the spread of the virus. And some Detroit subway restaurants will voluntarily pause indoor dining for short periods of time.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has so far refused to take stricter measures for restaurants and bars or to ban eating indoors. Instead, the governor obliges the state’s businesses and residents not to voluntarily engage in or engage in activities that could lead to further outbreaks.
“Policy changes alone will not reduce the prevalence,” Whitmer said in a press conference on April 9th. “However, the recent surge in falls is a reminder that we are still in the tunnel. The only way out is forward and together. “In addition, stricter measures are not“ off the table ”in the future.
According to Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive, Michigan is facing a surge in COVID-19 cases that could be far worse than what the state saw last fall. That surge in Michigan resulted in an indoor dining ban that began in mid-November and ended on February 1 of that year. Restaurants and bars are currently allowed to be 50 percent full until April 19. Health experts note that the number of cases across Michigan rose last month after statewide COVID-19 restrictions were eased on March 5, including increasing the capacity for indoor restaurants and enabling personal classes and exercise High schools.
Following the governor’s April 9 remarks, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) issued a statement calling Whitmer’s recommendation to voluntarily stop indoor dining “misdirected” as it continues the “restaurant industry without evidence or reliable data ”makes the scapegoat.
“The restaurant operators have done an exceptional job since reopening in February to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for guests and employees. This is evident from the data, ”says the MRLA declaration. “While Michigan is experiencing an unfortunate surge that has sparked nearly 1,000 new and ongoing COVID-19 outbreak investigations, a negligible 0.3% of those investigations have involved diners.”
In February, the MRLA proposed a reopening plan that included a series of signposts for local and state officials to reopen restaurants and bars with tiered capacity based on Michigan’s average positivity rate for seven days. The plan provides that restaurants and bars can reopen without a curfew with an indoor capacity of 50 percent if the positivity rate is between 3 and 7 percent. A positivity rate below 3 percent would make it possible to resume eating indoors without capacity constraints. In other words, the higher the positivity rate, the stricter the restrictions.
A survey of 600 people conducted by the MRLA in March found that 64 percent of respondents were in favor of reopening restaurants with 100 percent capacity or when all residents are eligible for the vaccine. A representative speaking on behalf of the MRLA told Eater as the association stood by its proposed reopening plan.
The MRLA has not yet responded to Eater’s request for comment for more details on respondents to the survey and is “not taking requests for an interview” on its recent statement on the governor’s call for indoor dining to be voluntary to interrupt.
Nearly 40 percent of the state’s residents are vaccinated, according to the Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard. All Michigan residents aged 16 and over are eligible for the vaccine. Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for children ages 16 and older, while Moderna and Johnson and Johnson are approved for those ages 18 and over.
Eater tracks the restaurants and bars in the Detroit area who volunteer to stop eating indoors. Check for updates again.
Ahi Poke and Grill in Livonia is temporarily closing its dining room. Outdoor seating available. Follow on Facebook for updates.
Cultivate coffee and tap house in Ypsilanti and temporarily shut down indoor dining. Terrace and garden seating available. Take-away curb available.
Detroit Fleat Food Truck Park in the Ferndale Igloo and terrace service only. Follow on Facebook for updates.
The Chesterfield Festival is temporarily closed from April 11th to April 21st. Follow us on Facebook for updates.
Howe’s Bayou temporarily reduces indoor capacity to 25 percent. Check Facebook for updates.
Louis’ pizza in Hazel Park was temporarily closed. Follow on Instagram for updates.
Pumachug in Clawson is temporarily closing its indoor service. Open to outdoor seating and take away. Check Facebook for updates.
Slows Bar BQ in Corktown and Grand Rapids is only open for alfresco dining and takeout. The tentative reopening for indoor dining is April 28th. Follow us on Facebook for the latest information.
The Witch’s Hat Brewing Company in south Lyon is only open for patio seating and roadside takeout until further notice. Follow on Facebook for updates.
Zingerman’s Delicatessen closes the interior seating for two weeks. Outdoor seating available.
Do you know of a Detroit restaurant or bar where indoor dining is voluntarily suspended due to rising COVID-19 cases? Email [email protected] with the details.
Sign up for the newsletter
Sign up for our newsletter.