Traverse City Bars React to Executive Order that Shut Downs Indoor Service

Union Street is usually the place to be on a summer night in downtown Traverse City. The road is lined with multiple bars and restaurants all in one spot.

Things will look a lot quieter for the foreseeable future as Governor Whitmer’s newest executive order closes indoor service at bars in Michigan.

Bar owners say it is a major setback that comes just as they were trying to get back on their feet.

“It’s already been so devastating being at the 50% all summer when we make all our money up here and try to get through the winter on these few months,” said Union Street Station owner Rick Thompson. “Everything seems like it changes hour to hour.”

He wishes the government would look at how each individual business is operating, rather than punishing a whole class of businesses.

“I wish there was a little more going out, and investigating this individually rather than lumping people all together,” he said.

The Grand Traverse Resort lobby bar will also close. It stings extra because they’ve been busy every weekend.

“We’ve been at nearly full capacity every weekend this summer which has been very exciting for us to see,” said public relations manager Caroline Rizzo. “It was a little bit of a shock at first because we’ve been…we think, doing so well up here.”

For everyone in the industry, there has been a lot of learning and readjusting.

“When those new executive orders come down, it can be a little confusing at first and it seems like people across the state and being forced to re-read those orders,” Rizzo said.

The order requires bars to close indoor service if they make 70% of their money from alcohol sales.

In a press release, Governor Whitmer cited outbreaks that have happened at downstate bars as part of the reasoning behind the decision.


Categories: Coronavirus