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Bars & restaurants allowed to reopen in Michigan on Monday with capacity restrictions, curfews

Posted at 5:33 AM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 13:12:06-05

(WXYZ) — Michigan bars and restaurants can once again allow patrons to dine-in. It comes months after the state halted in-person dining due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Related: Survey found 40% of MI restaurants may not reopen under tighter capacity restrictions

Under the new rules, restaurants can only have 25% seating capacity with a limit of 100 people inside, and the businesses have to close by 10 p.m.

Mootz Pizzeria in downtown Detroit says its carryout business has carried it through the shutdown, but they're ready for dine-in again.

"I can't wait to have them back. I really can't. And I know they can't wait to come back," Mootz GM Sean Katchuba said.

Katchuba said that once the state announced restaurants can resume dine-in service, the phone started ringing with people asking about reservations.

That will not be an option, and it's first-come, first-serve for the restaurant.

Katchba also said that people may have some reservations about dining in, but they have taken precautions.

"I understand completely people feeling nervous and scared to go back out. I don't think you should be because we've taken every precaution possible," he said. "We have our booths, even between our booths we have a little bit of plexiglass just to raise up a little bit so there's even less opportunity for contact."

Under the state's new restrictions, restaurants can only set a maximum of 25% of their full capcity.

Justin Winslow, the president of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, says Mootz is among the 60% of restaurants willing to reopen with that limitation in place. The other 40% say it's not worth it financially.

"I think 25 percent is a challenging number for some. There's a lot of overhead that goes into reopening your restaurant," Winslow said.

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