After the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued the emergency order restricting indoor gatherings, restaurants across the state are being forced to make some tough decisions.
Some have decided to ignore the order.
Owner of in Gaylord, Ian Murphy said his employees will be in a tough spot if they close dine-in service.
“We felt like there’s a moral fiduciary responsibility to our staff and to our creditors as well,” he said.
Last week, Murphy announced the restaurant would stay open for dine-in services. Then, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan sent him a cease and desist letter, demanding he stop all operations.
The Iron Pig Smokehouse is currently open and allowing dine-in service, and customers are still showing up and expressing their support, whether in person or social media. Customer Kent Murray said the emergency order is a government overstep and more restaurants need to be opened.
“It’s hard for one restaurant to fight against that,” he said. “If they all stay open, it’s a lot easier to fight against that.”
Other restaurants that have defied the order have already had their liquor licenses suspended. Murphy said he’s not worried. “We don’t expect that license to be revoked at any time. People need to understand there’s a thing called due process.”
Murphy said, as of Nov. 30, there are no court hearings scheduled to resolve the issue.
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