A federal judge rules that the dining in shut-down order must continue

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 8:39 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (12/2/2020) - A federal judge will not overturn a state ordered 3 week ban on indoor dining.

The judge said a “plausible explanation” for the order exists, since you have to take your mask off when you eat.

The decision is a blow to restaurant owners who fear they may be forced to close for good if the restrictions continue.

Restaurant owners said it’s tough and wonder if this is what they’ll have to deal with through the end of the year.

Blackstone’s Smokehouse owner Jerrid Heidel is worried about how he will pay the bills.

“As a business, without that revenue stream, especially this time of year, that’s very painful.”

According to the National Restaurant Association, Michigan employs nearly half a million people and brings in nearly 18 billion dollars in revenue.

Revenue that’s been severely cut down by covid-19.

Heidel understands the reason to shut down, but says it’s a challenge to manage expenses, not knowing how long until he’s able to serve his customers indoors.

“To drive through the end of the year, without getting that holiday revenue is super nerve-racking, grossly expensive. And then, it also puts all of our team on unemployment, if they can get that.”

The owners of The Loft, a popular downtown Flint bar have considered closing this past summer.

For now, they are trying to be creative and hang on as best they can, under the circumstances.

“At this point, I think to all businesses, restaurants, bar industry, it would bring a lot of relief if we had some type of time line to figure out how to adjust our finances and figure out what bills are important to pay. Because, right now, we don’t know, two weeks, one week, two months,” said The Loft Co-Owner Jesi Michelle.

For restaurants to survive, some owners I talked to would like to see some sort of stimulus package to give them a hand up, not a hand out until things get back to normal.

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