Northern Michigan Restaurants Preparing to Reopen, Some Stick with Takeout

Many restaurants across much of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are preparing to reopen their dining rooms at 50% capacity Friday. Untitled Project 2

“Even though we have a lot of work to do, we’re pretty ready for it,” said Gary Kosch, owner of the Alpine Tavern and Eatery in Gaylord.

The next few days will be busy for Kosch, as he gets his staff ready to reopen.

“They know how to serve, they know the menu, that’s the easy part,” Kosch said. “It’s being ready safely.”

They have rearranged tables to be at least six feet apart.  The patio is also open and ready for socially distant dining.

For now, they are allowed to be at 50% capacity.

“We’re predicting we’re going to be down 25% this summer,” Kosch said. “Hey, being down 25% and serving safe is better than being down 100% and not serving anything.”

Each and every step they are taking is with safety in mind.

“When you come here, we’re going to have the safest procedures possible based on the guidelines presented to us,” Kosch said.

But not every restaurant has plans to open up dining right away.

That French Place in Charlevoix  is one of the area restaurants sticking with strictly take-out.

“The idea of making sure we’re safe and our customers are safe is a big responsibility and something we don’t take lightly,” said Brian Freund, owner of That French Place.

Their restaurant is smaller and would allow just 5 customers in at a time.

“Even though this happening, we still want our business to thrive,” Freund said. “So we have to figure out new ways to get our food to people easily.”

They’ll be installing a pick-up window so online and phone orders can be picked up easily.

“We’ve completely changed our whole set up and we’re going to continue to do that as the needs come up, we’re going to keep adjusting things,” Freund said.

Categories: Coronavirus