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Mid-Michigan restaurants expect increase in business with capacity expanding


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    BAY CITY, Michigan (WNEM) — Beginning Tuesday, a return to normalcy as COVID-19 restrictions for Michiganders will start to lift including the complete elimination of capacity limits for outdoor events.

Restaurants and bars also expect a boost in business with the ability to welcome more customers inside and keep them there later.

Starting June 1, restaurants and bars can start operating at 50 percent capacity and not having to worry about a curfew.

Christopher Larocque owns Duso’s in Bay City.

“So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to close from 11 to 12 and at 12:00 to two we’re going to have this place roaring again,” Larocque said.

Larocque is excited about the capacity increase and being able to stay open later to serve more customers.

“Well we’re probably expecting our numbers to go up by about 20 percent,” Larocque said.

Joseph Marsh, owner of the Crowne Pub in Bay City, said with the previous restrictions his bar was losing around a $1,000 per day. But now that those restrictions have been lifted.

“it’s going to keep us in business. A lot of people have been struggling with COVID-19 and these restrictions and it’s going to allow us to move forward,” Marsh said.

For restaurants like Redwood Steakhouse in Flint, the lifted restrictions mean not having to turn away guests or limit how long they can eat.

“It was kind of a struggle from our point as far as having people come into the restaurant having to wait for a table having a limited time on how long they could be there,” said Luis Fernandez, managing partner of Redwood Steakhouse.

It’s also a turning point for many businesses that have felt the impact of the pandemic and are hopeful that returning to normalcy is near.

“This is a big step because we know that we’re not going to be worried about whether or not things are going to shut down on us again I think we’re beyond that point,” Fernandez said.

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