Marlena’s reopens months after owner was jailed over virus rules

Ottawa County

Supporters put up signs and tape on Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria on March 19, 2021, to show a judge it was indeed closed.

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — The doors at a western Michigan restaurant were open before sunrise Tuesday as the owner welcomed diners for the first time since she spent four nights in jail for ignoring orders related to COVID-19.

Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland had been closed since March. But Marlena Pavlos-Hackney now has recovered her food license.

Kris Simmons was one of the first customers Tuesday. He says Pavlos-Hackney is a “hero.”

Pavlos-Hackney last winter allowed indoor dining, despite state prohibitions, and ignored other rules aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19. She said her customers’ health was up to them.

Now Pavlos-Hackney says it “feels so good” to see customers.

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