Northern Michigan Businesses: First Weekend Reopen Went Smooth

Memorial Day weekend was the first time retailers and restaurants across much of Northern Michigan could reopen with various safety measures in place. 05 26 2020 Nmi Biz Wrap Pkg 6

“They were happy we were open,” Josh Baker, owner of The Outfitter Harbor Springs.

Josh Baker and his staff at The Outfitter Harbor Springs reopened their store Friday, with some changes.

They added sanitizing stations, required everyone to wear a mask and enhanced hourly disinfecting.

“A couple of times we needed to keep numbers under control,” Baker said. “That’s been way better than we anticipated.”

For the most part, people were happy to shop with the new rules in place, but Baker says they did have a couple of customers who refused to wear a mask.

“That’s what it is, you can’t come in unless you have on a face mask,” Baker said. “I’ve got three people that would be considered risky working here, so we’re not messing around and we’re doing it the best we can.”

Overall, Baker says their first weekend open went quite well and he feels they are in a good spot.

“We feel we’ve got a good start and we are comfortable with what we’ve initiated and how it’s working,”

Around the corner, Petoskey Brewing also reopened this weekend.

“Everything has gone very smooth, the customers really liked it, we were pretty much full Saturday and Sunday,” said operations manager Tyler Gostinger. “Everybody was being safe, that was the best part was that everybody was following the guidelines.”

Changes there include an outdoor host stand, disposable cups for beer and placing your order at the bar.

“Even when you get to your table and you take your mask off and you’re eating food, I want you to feel comfortable in the environment,” Gostinger said.

Both businesses say they’ll just have to take each uncharted week at a time.

“We’ll see how it goes, everything seems to be running smooth now and we can continue this for the future,” Gostinger said. “This week is really kind of my tell on how to plan for the rest of the weeks going forward.”

Categories: Coronavirus