GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While some bars in West Michigan are gearing up for New Year’s Eve celebrations, others are planning to close early.
One restaurant group says they simply don’t have enough resources to throw a big party.
“We’ve really pulled back on your stereotypical New Year’s Eve celebration stuff. No DJs, no dancing, nothing crazy,” said Chris Funaro, the director of operations for All-In Hospitality Group.
What would normally be a busy bar night in Grand Rapids might seem a little quieter at certain places.
“We’re in a pretty tough stretch right now with regards to staffing,” said Funaro.
All-In Hospitality Group manages Donkey Taqueria, Winchester, Royals and Hancock in Grand Rapids. Funaro says three out of the four businesses will close early on New Year’s Eve. Winchester is the only one staying open just past midnight.
“Obviously, a tough decision with everything that’s going on,” said Funaro.
Funaro says with COVID-19 cases spiking again, it’s not worth the risk.
“We’re just trying really hard to put all of our effort and attention into what makes operation sense for us,” said Funaro.
On the other hand, Seth Debri, a bartender at the Tin Can on Grandville Avenue, says things will look pretty normal there.
“We will have a PBR toast at midnight, no cover all night, $3 wells, $2.75 pudding shots. It’s pretty much the same as last year,” said Debri.
Debri says they’ll likely see more than 200 people come through.
“We do actually get pretty busy; we’re planning on hitting capacity for sure,” said Debri.
The two do have one thing in common: The hope for a brighter and safer future.
“Hopefully just more people going out and about and not having to worry about COVID and new variants and all that,” said Debri.
“We’re just hopeful, you know, we’re hopeful that we can finally put this thing behind us, but we’re very much so looking forward to summer,” said Funaro.