Northern Michigan bars re-opened to much fanfare just after midnight Friday, drawing interest from people from parts of the state where restrictions remain due to higher rates of coronavirus infection.
The Detroit News stopped by CW's Restaurant in Alpena, which was to reopen at noon:
They were anticipating good crowds after seeing social media posts Thursday of traffic headed north on Interstate 75. They even booked a DJ.
"The word is out downstate that we are open," said Gray said. "We've had a ton of calls.
The Free Press visited the Kal-Ho Lounge in Kalkaska:
"We've gotten a lot of calls," (said Kathy Sanborn, who helps run the bar.) "Even people as far as Indiana asking if we're going to be open (this weekend)."
Images posted to social media showed people spread out inside bars but, in at least one case, lined up closely to get in.
Inside Brady’s Bar in Traverse City, which reopened at 12:01 a.m. after a 9.5-week shutdown due to the coronavirus. @GovWhitmer’s executive order allowing northern Michigan bars & restaurants to reopen at 50% capacity went into in effect at 12:01 a.m. pic.twitter.com/D5qu1AbEiv— Chad Livengood (@ChadLivengood) May 22, 2020
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week allowed bars and restaurants in 17 of Michigan's northern counties to reopen at 50-percent capacity. Employees are required to undergo safety training, wear masks and keep groups six feet from one another.