Restaurant reservations fill up upon Monday reopening


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As restaurants in Michigan prepare to reopen for in-person dining on Monday, owners say they’ve been receiving a flood of phone calls for reservations.

Some say they’re already booked for Valentine’s Day.

Under new restrictions, restaurants will be able to reopen at 25% capacity. Tables will have to be spread 6 feet apart and businesses will have to close by 10 p.m. for contact tracing. 

“Every day we have people calling in, making reservations already,” said Romeyne Cloud with Tupelo Honey in downtown Grand Rapids.

Because Tupelo Honey opened in September, they say they have never been able to operate at full capacity.

The restaurant says they will only be able to allow 50 people inside at a time. Guests will also be required to wear masks whenever they’re not eating or drinking.

“It’s going to be different and it’s going to be hard, but I think most people are willing to do it so that we can all be safe again,” Cloud said. 

The staff at Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen in East Grand Rapids say they’ve been preparing for the reopen all week. 

“Having dine-in at least a little bit (more normal) — it at least lets us prepare for the potential to have some steady business,” said Thomas Pugh, who is part owner of Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen in East Grand Rapids. 

The restaurant says they’ve been receiving lots of calls, but they’re taking things slow. They say they’re taking limited reservations but offering deals in full.

 “We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls, which is really awesome. We know that people are ready to come back and we’re definitely ready to give them a safe dining experience,” said Brienne Postema, who is also part owner of Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen. “Please be patient and try maybe calling ahead and seeing where we’re at with things. If you can’t make it in tomorrow, we’ll be here the day after and we’ll be here the day after that.”

Both restaurants say they’re most excited to get their hardworking and well-deserving staff back to work. 

“There’s so many people out there struggling, and our staff is so important to us and they are all family and just having them out of work just kills us,” Postema said.

Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen says they’ll be offering their $1 fresh oyster deal. To accommodate guests who are still not comfortable with in-person dining, they will offer a takeout deal for fresh oysters. They also have happy hour seven days a week. 

They’re open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. More information can be found on their website

Tupelo Honey says they plan to offer deals on family meals priced between $30 and $60. They will be open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can find more info on the restaurant’s website.

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