Oakwood Proper Burgers Prepares to Open During the Pandemic

The National Restaurant Association says in 2020 more than 100,000 restaurants nationwide went out of business.

But the owners of Oakwood Proper Burgers in Traverse City are doing things opposite, they plan to open.

Co-Owner, Leslie Bilbey says, “My husband Josh and I live nearby and we walk this community a lot. We’ve seen this building. We’ve admired it and so we came across it because we wanted to give it new life.”

They’ve noticed the constant changes other restaurant owners have had to make.

“It’s a little bit different than somebody who has already been in operation. They wake up one day and they’re closed to in person and the next person they’re not. So that’s got to be a lot of stress for them,” says Bilbey.

Now they look to those business owners as inspiration.

“They’re experts, they’re hard workers, and they’re doing everything that they can to survive right now,” said Bilbey. “We’ve had a little bit of time to pause and had time to be thoughtful and think about what we will do for our plan of action.”

They’re also taking social distancing into account.

They knocked down one wall to make way for a garage door.6e40d229 3ac1 485a 9712 529b9bdfe26e

So, guest can have their burger with space while enjoying a fire.

They say during construction, they’ve already started to see big support for the community.

Bilbey says, “People would honk their horn, they would wave, ask what are you doing, holler at the traffic light. So the energy from the near by community has really sustained us into putting our work and our love into it.”

Oakwood Proper Burgers plan on opening as takeout only starting the first week of February.

Categories: Coronavirus