Metro Detroit restaurants fear a possible 2nd shutdown, urge diners to follow rules

Posted at 6:39 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 18:39:37-05

With the number of coronavirus cases on the rise — many business owners are concerned it could lead to more restrictions or possibly— a second shutdown.

Like other restaurants, Side Street Diner is doing what they can to stay afloat!

Right now - the state’s restaurant restrictions allow only 50% capacity, limits to groups of six people or less per table with seating six feet apart.

Diners must give their name and contact information, and of course, you must wear a mask, something that co-owner Sheila Taylor says has to be enforced a couple of times a day.

“I want to serve people, I don’t want to have to police them," Taylor said.

And with the rise in coronavirus cases — many are concerned about even more restrictions for restaurants or possibly another shutdown.

Sheila says besides hurting financially, it has been hard hiring and training new employees, and if we shut down again, it would be like deja vu.

“We lost several employees and when we opened to 50%, a lot of them didn’t come back," she said.

New restaurant restrictions are popping up across the country.

In New York, there is a 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants. In Illinois — indoor dining is banned altogether.

In an interview, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said many of the new COVID-19 cases stem from private gatherings. Only a small percentage has been tied to restaurants.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association believes about 5,000 restaurant and hotels at risk of closing by this winter.

“A challenging time for the industry. We are hopeful that if any decisions are coming that we can get enough advance warning, advance understanding so we can prevent some restaurants and hotels from making inventory decisions that might actually prove more devastating to them. A massive food buy for instance that they wouldn’t fully be able to utilize," Justin Winslow, with the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, said.

As Side Street Diner gets ready for winter months — they are saying “thank you, thank you very much” to those who are supporting them...

“We love what we do and who we do it for so we are going to continue to keep cooking and serve up the love," Taylor said.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.