GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Several businesses in Michigan are facing penalties in violating state public health orders.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a three-week epidemic order on Nov. 15, which required all bars and restaurants to close their indoor dining.
The Michigan Liquor Control Commission issued emergency liquor license suspensions for three businesses: Jimmy’s Roadhouse in Newaygo, Brew Works in Fremont and The Meeting Place in Fenton.
Each business is scheduled for a virtual court hearing on Dec. 4. A judge will decide if the suspension should continue or other fines be issued.
Wednesday, News 8 reached out to the owner of Jimmy’s Roadhouse, James Cory. Cory did not want to speak on camera but told news crews he is staying open for the sake of his employees who depend on the money they make at the restaurant.
News 8 did not get video inside the restaurant but went in to witnessed a packed house. The restaurant was offering full service and the bar was filled with people. There was no social distancing and almost every employee and patron did not wear a mask. Cory says he is giving people the option to wear a mask.
Cory spoke to News 8 in May after he decided to reopen his restaurant in violation of an order to stop in-person dining from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. That order was later determined unconstitutional. Though the latest restrictions are through MDHHS, Cory says what the governor is doing is ruining lives and taking away people’s free will.
MDHHS issued citations, with penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation, for the following businesses:
- The Meeting Place in Fenton – $1,000
- Big Boy of Sandusky – $5,000
- Café Rosetta in Calumet – $1,000
- Woodchips Barbecue in Lapeer – $1,000
Fines are due within 30 days of receiving the citation.
The state says more businesses are expected to be penalized, however, most are doing their part in following the order.
“The vast majority of restaurant and bar owners are doing the right thing and they have temporarily closed their indoor service to help prevent the spread of the virus,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We know this is not easy for anyone, this is not an action we take lightly, but the sooner we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 the sooner we can all get back to doing the things we enjoy.”
As of Wednesday, the state has reported 324,779 coronavirus cases and 8,761 deaths linked to the virus since the outbreak was first detected in Michigan in March. The daily number of cases and deaths have surged statewide within the last five weeks.
Noncompliance complaints can be reported to the MLCC online or by calling 866.893.2121.