PORTAGE, Mich. — Bar and restaurant owners say they are feeling the effects of the dine-in ban after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services passed an epidemic order, which was set to expire on Dec. 9.
Dave Morris, the owner of D&R Daily Grind, said he is tired of restrictions putting businesses like his in danger of closing.
“My government leaders have abandoned me,” Morris said.
He said since opening up for indoor dining on Nov. 27, 2020, he had seen a record number of customers and he was encouraging other business owners to open up.
Morris explaining loud, clear and live during the News Channel 3 newscast, why he believes the epidemic orders are robbing restaurant owners.
“They have put me in a position to where I have to fight back,” Morris said.
Morris has been going against the state’s indoor dining ban by opening up and welcoming customers.
The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Associations filed a lawsuit to stop the order, but a federal judge ruled on Dec. 2, 2020, that restaurants can’t open safely and successfully.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the agency behind the ban, praising to judge’s decision in a statement:
“These protocols on specific indoor gatherings, along with wearing face masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing, give Michigan a fact-based approach to slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can return to a strong economy and get back to normal safely as soon as we can.”
“I feel everybody should stand up,” Morris said.
His café has been open since Friday, Nov. 27, the indoor dining ban is in effect until Dec. 9.
Morris says he received a cease-and-desist letter from Kalamazoo County health department, but he said business was booming so he would be staying open.
“They want me to go down and be quiet and never hear from me again. I am not going to put up with it. It’s time to rise up. Shut it all down or don’t shut any of us down. That’s the only way to get control of a virus,” Morris said.
Businesses that defy the state’s orders face a fine of $1,000 a day. Morris was was up to $6,000 as of Dec. 2.
The indoor dining ban was set to expire Dec. 9, but as COVID-19 cases continued to rise, it was unclear what would happen next.