Restaurants prepare for the next chapter in Michigan's re-opening

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jun 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-06 18:14:09-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Starting Monday, June 8, Michigan restaurants can reopen at 50 percent capacity under Governor Whitmers latest phase to reopen the state.

Restaurants like Anna's House are one of the many restaurants across Michigan who are prepared for the big day, but say customers should be prepared for changes.

"We are so excited to see our regulars. It's like walking back your family that you haven't seen in three months," Christina Post, Anna's House General Manager told FOX 17. "it was almost like an answered prayer when we finally heard that we were going to be opening and it was kind of out of nowhere."

Some changes include wearing masks into the building, unless you medically cannot, however they will not question anyone. Once seated customers can then remove their masks. The entire dining room will be rearranged to allow social distancing of six feet. Servers will also be required to wear masks and have their temperature checked before each shift.

While Anna's House is ready to resume in person dining, some restaurants in downtown Grand Rapids are not after being vandalized last week. Several restaurants, like Littlebird, were caught in the crossfire of looting and vandalism when a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest turned violent. Vadals shattered their front windows with bricks and damaged multiple tables and walls.

"it was very traumatic to see just so much damage after it had been such a positive day on Saturday," Sarah Wepman, owner of Littlebird told us. "It's been a very very difficult period every day has been trying to decide how we're going to move forward."

Littlebird will be opening their patio Monday though, in addition to their carry out and delivery services. The owner, Sarah Wepman has been working with the city to even expand the patio into the street and create a new atmosphere for all businesses during this difficult time.

"We're developing a new plan with the city to have these new social zones where we can have patio dining, so much more expanded patio dining which would be a lot of fun," Wepman told us. "Looking forward to potentially having some live music, and some other events that would just make it a really fun place and be able to social distance very easily. A lot of new opportunities."

Wepman believes that with this new project and a little support from the community, downtown in headed in the right direction.

"...Everyone has just come together in a really positive way and we're just trying to help work with everybody to ... keep that positive momentum, and just make downtown, a really pleasant safe place to spend our time."