W. MI restaurants prepare to reopen Monday

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Restaurants are getting ready to resume indoor dining in Michigan starting Monday. Owners say they’re prepped and ready to reopen.

“Each restaurant is like its own little family, so the workers all miss each other, managers miss the staff, everybody misses the guests, so we’re excited to have people back in our buildings,” said Jeff Lobdell, the president of Restaurant Partners Management LLC.

Restaurant Partners Management LLC owns a dozen restaurants in Grand Rapids, including Rockwell Republic on Division Avenue near Fulton Street. He says they had to furlough 90% of their staff last year because of the COVID-19 shutdown orders.

“It’s devastating to let people go. We’ve never had to furlough or let people go in our entire company’s 25-year history,” said Lobdell.

Hop Hog Backyard Brew Pub in Greenville also faced challenges this past year. The brew pub is hosting its grand opening Monday and the manager says opening a new business in 2020 hasn’t been easy.

“We had numerous shipping issues from many different things. There has been lots of obstacles, but we’ve got a really good leadership team that’s really helped bring this all together,” said David Harvey, the general manager of Hop Hog Backyard Brew Pub.

The two men want people to know that their businesses are safe, and they hope people come out next week and support them following a rough stretch.

“We’re washing hands, sanitizing, tripling down on that sanitizing, we’re wearing masks and we’re enforcing mask wearing to keep the environment safe for everybody,” said Lobdell.

Under the state’s new order allowing restaurants to reopen their dining rooms, they must keep capacity at 25% and have a curfew of 10 p.m. with a maximum of 6 people at each table.

  

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