Grading Ypsi-Arbor bars and restaurants on their COVID friendliness

As you can see in the above graph from Bridge Magazine, we’re seeing an uptick in new COVID-19 cases here in Michigan since Governor’s Whitmer’s stay-home order was lifted on June 2. On June 11, just three days after our bars and restaurants reopened, we saw a low of just 74 new cases across the state. By yesterday, however, the number of new cases had risen to 389. While it would be unfair to put all of the responsibility for that on restaurants and bars — some of whom are taking the responsibility much more seriously than others — it’s clear that they’re playing a significant role in the resurgence of the disease. For example, over the past week, 76 new COVID-19 cases have been tracked back to a single night at a restaurant in East Lansing. [The restaurant is Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub, and the number of cases is expected to keep rising.]

So, with that all of that said, I though that perhaps it might make sense for us to have a discussion about which of our local Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti restaurants are handling the pandemic well, and what we might be able to do to persuade those that aren’t to take this public health crisis more seriously.

I should note right up front that I don’t have a lot of first-hand experience when it comes to going out since the onset of COVID-19. It’s something that I feel quite conflicted about, but my family and I have done a pretty shitty job of supporting local businesses throughout this crisis. While I feel as though we’ve done the responsible thing, as far as our family’s health is concerned, I suspect we could have done more to help support our friends and neighbors with businesses here in Ypsilanti. We’ve purchased three pints of ice cream from the walk-up window at Go Ice Cream, and stopped by our local Ace Hardware a few times, but otherwise we’ve put very little money into the local economy over the past 120 days. It’s something that I feel bad about, but, having lost a friend to COVID-19, and having both children and older family members dependent on me, I’m not terribly inclined to take unnecessary risk, even if I know it’s highly unlikely that I might contract the disease while picking-up a to-go order. [Consensus seems to be that COVID-19 is most reliably transmitted via close-up, person-to-person interactions between non-masked individuals that extended over significant periods of time, especially in crowded, poorly ventilated environments, where people are talking loudly.] So, for the most part, I limit my risk to a Costco run every 10 days or so. [As we’ve discussed, I prefer Costco, as they have clear COVID guidelines, and a firm policy on the wearing of masks.]

With all of that said, I don’t begrudge those who are out there, not just buying food to-go from our local restaurants, but actually eating-out. I’m convinced that both can be done safely, and I know several people in the local restaurant industry who are working their asses off to ensure that their customers stay safe. And I know that it hasn’t been easy. For instance, I’ve been hearing many stories since reopening about how much time is being spent each day by restaurant employees trying to convince their guests that, yes, they really do need to wear masks when walking to and from their tables when eating inside.

As you might expect, however, there appear to be some bars and restaurants that aren’t really even trying. Here, for example, is a text forwarded to me a few days ago by a local restaurant owner who was concerned about the lack of precautions being taken at another Ypsilanti bar, where people wearing masks were reportedly not only being ridiculed, but coughed on by their fellow customers, without management stepping in to stop it. [I’ve since had this story verified by a second source.]

As the person who forward the above text to me pointed out, we live in a relatively small community, and the customers being served in bars like the one noted here, will invariably find themselves in other Ypsilanti bars and restaurants… and if we can’t get everyone to start taking this crisis seriously, we’ll inevitably find ourselves in lockdown again. So, with that in mind, I thought that perhaps we could discuss how, as a community, we could better work together to ensure that all of our business owners are taking their responsibility seriously. And, on the positive side, I though that we might also discuss what you’ve experienced thus far that has impressed you. Which business owners, if any, are investing the resources to ensure that their customers stay safe and healthy, and make it thought this dark period in American history?

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60 Comments

  1. John Brown
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I bet some treason monkeys will screech some opinions about this. I’m going to stick to social distanced picnicking after social distanced target practice.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    How can eating in a restaurant, indoors be done safely? People using their mouths, chowing down on food, drinking and talking while the HVAC runs, circulating the air everyone is breathing? We’re probably in the best case scenario right now when some restaurants can have outdoor seating but think of what it will be like when it gets cold.

    Drinking at a bar seems even more dangerous due to, ya know, the intoxicating effects of alcohol.

    I’m not convinced those things can be done safely.

  3. Bob
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    It’s a tragedy for local businesses but it’s unrealistic to expect very many bars or restaurants to survive. They can’t be profitable under these conditions or given the number of people going. It sucks. I was one for awhile. I feel for them. My family went out once to the session room a few weeks ago. Outside seating. Also to Salt Springs. Outside. Business is very scarce and can’t be profitable. We’re back to not going too.

  4. Anne
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I think I would wear a mask to an outdoor table and perhaps enjoy myself with the family I am quarantined with…. But I haven’t done so yet. We’ve been trying to support local with curbside pick up of items. I’m tired of other people’s selfish behavior. Wearing a mask is not hard.

  5. TeacherPatti
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Grange did a lovely job of social distancing both inside and outside. Corner’s beer garden was also handled well. In both places, you wore your mask while walking around (to the bathroom or whatever), stayed at your table to eat without the mask, all the servers had masks on.

  6. MJ
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Why redact the name of the above establishment? I’ll take all the warnings I can get regarding which spots to steer clear of.

  7. Lynne
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    There are ways to support local businesses while still staying at home!

    For example, you could support Ypsilanti’s best bookstore!

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/SupportBlackStone

    I have only gone to one bar, Sidetrack. I only was willing to go because the city closed the street so they could expand their outdoor seating. I am not ready to sit inside at a restaurant or bar. Sidetrack seemed to be taking things seriously. The outside tables were appropriately distant from each other. The staff wore masks at all times. I did not feel unsafe. With that said, I still am ordering delivery from them but that is more due to my own laziness than a worry about safety

  8. Lynne
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Oh and yes, the street closure does affect me as it is a route I frequently take. Now I have to go around. It adds maybe 2-5 minutes to my trip. Like mask-wearing, I consider it a small inconvenience that allows us to be open!

  9. Wobblie
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Aloha, my wife and I have been doing carry out or delivery once a week. Very impressed with Sidetrack, Tower Inn, Lucky 7, Ybor Yan, Pita Pita. Mr Pizza fails in delivery, acceptable pick up.

    Will not be eating in. Interior spaces are where uncontrolled super spreader events occur. I know here in the exceptional USA only American made science matters, the way in which the virus spreads through super spreader events has been known since Feb/March.

    If only we had stayed the course back in May. Crushed the virus when we had a chance—-who could have known

  10. Arika
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    This is related- we have not gone and fined at a restaurant, and I don’t think we will for some time. But we have gotten taken out from the following places with a positive experiences: Antonio’s, Tower Inn, Wurst Bar, Maiz, Tuptim, Yp Sichuan, Aubree’s, Buddy Pizza, DJ’s Bakery, Morgan and York, Barry’s Bagels. I don’t know if take out is actually much safer, but we’ve made each Friday and family dinner night where we choose a local restaurant and order from them.

  11. Posted June 28, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I struggled with naming the place. I felt obligated to warn people, but, at the same time, as I didn’t witness any of it myself, it didn’t feel right to issue a public warning. Since I received this text, though, I’ve seen a few conversations on Facebook about the place in question. And, as I noted, someone confirmed it yesterday. That confirmation, however, was second hand. So, yeah, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to name the place. In the interest of public health, though, I’ll say that the place’s name rhymes with Howell’s.

  12. Janette Rook
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’ve had lunch at Tap Room & dinner at Bobcat & they seemed exceedingly careful for their dine in & patio service. I’ve also noticed a lot of care taken for take out at the places I’ve been in past month or so: Maiz, Red Rock, Wokmandu, Encuentro Latino, Go Ice Cream, Haab’s & Beezy’s.

  13. Robert V
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Heidelberg is doing an absolutely terrible job, no masks and totally packed.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Tub? Rub? Bub? Nub? At this point you might as well say that it’s across the street from the rental place that is not Ryder.

    We’ve been ordering from food trucks, going to the stores that we feel comfortable going to, even had people come do work in our house. The key for us is limiting time exposure to crowded indoor congested environments. Quick shopping trip yes, sit down dining inside no.

  15. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I agree with Anonymous about the risks of bars and restaurants. I feel bad that any businesses might have to go out business but they are in the business of selling an addictive substance so I feel less bad.

    I think the protests played a likely role in an uptick too. Duh.

  16. Lynne
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Yeah but at least the protests were doing something positive! Also, they were all outside and in most of the footage I have seen, most people were wearing masks. As I read about Friday’s Jobby Nooner, though, and look at those pictures, where no one is distancing or wearing a mask, I wonder how much being outside will matter. I hope it matters a lot!

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I don’t totally disagree with you Lynne. The Jobby Nooner thing is gross. From the pictures in Ypsi it seemed like something like 70% of the people were wearing masks. That was great. I also wonder about where the protestors ate lunch and went pee.

    Anyway, I am not trying to express an opinion against peaceful protestors. It is 100% their right. Drinking at a bar is their right too. I wouldn’t do either. If I was forced to do one of the two I would have joined a “justice for Floyd” protest.

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I have see a lot footage of protestors yelling in the faces of cops. That is wrong and should be condemned. As I said about the conservative protestors in Lansing who yelled at a cop—that is reckless endangerment, imo.

  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I will be interested to see the extent of uptick of covid cases in the cities where Covid hit first versus places like Southern California—where Covid cases seemed to spike after protests.

    I want to avoid pinning the blame on one group or the other. To be honest, I am not too worried about the risk to myself because I refrain from high risk activity and exposure.

    Is Powell’s considered a conservative bar or something?

  20. Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been at both the most recent Black Lives Matter protests in Ypsi, and I’d say that well over 90% of people were wearing masks. Actually, I’d say that fewer than 1-in-20 wasn’t wearing a mask. And I didn’t see one instance of anyone “yelling in the faces of cops.” As for Jobbie Nooner, one of the images I saw of a unmasked woman participating in the event identified her as being from Ypsilanti.

  21. Matt Jones
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Tuptim was the best I’ve seen. They essentially just open the door and throw your takeout at you, fully masked, gloved, everything. I love it.

  22. Jo Brown
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Poke Fish on Washtenaw is doing great. They built a frame for a wall in the middle of the restaurant and covered it in clear plastic. All staff in masks.

    You order online. When it’s ready you come in and they ask you your order number from across the restaurant. Then you go by the front door while they open the door on the wall they built and place it on a table. Once they are safely back behind the big plastic wall you may get your food.

  23. Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Speaking of customers not appreciating (or respecting) the work being done to keep them safe, a friend just forwarded this complaint left on the Facebook page of Ascension Brewing.

  24. Amy
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I don’t have anyone else in my germ bubble, so I wouldn’t be able to share a table with anyone, anyway. I’ve considered a patio restaurant with a book, but since I am able to stay home and not risk spreading the virus, I feel that’s the best route for me. I do get delivery from local restaurants sometimes.

  25. Lisa Schramm
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    If anyone would like to discuss their experiences working in a restaurant, Service Industry Workers of the Ann Arbor Area is asking people to fill out this google form. You can remain anonymous if you’d like, but we’re trying to form a bigger picture of what our industry looks like right now. Responses need not be limited to coronavirus precautions, and we’re interested whether you have something good or bad to say about your employer. Thanks!

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf7ZMIC1biaflMU9FRzm3bjAufkVIETbrWDU_Vjpf3LtaLOSQ/viewform

  26. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I did not wish to imply that Ypsi protestors were yelling in people’s faces. I thought that was obvious. The vast majority of protests have been very peaceful including Ypsi. Good job. Many protests, especially in large cities have had activity that is not protest—more akin to rioting. Bad job.

    In terms of acknowledging the negatives in the media including the coverage on ColuMbo.com. Bad job.

    Why do I get the feeling this is about to turn into another situation where Mark tries to put his fingers on the scales of what businesses belong in Ypsi? I wonder if Quiznos would have done good job being responsible if they were still around?

  27. Johanna McCoy
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Here at the Bomber, we are still only doing curbside and delivery Don’t trust people to abide by the rules for dine in. Happily, most of my customers understand and appreciate keeping them, my employees and their families safe are a priority

  28. Jesse
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Why does everyone think eating outside is healthier? Does ac intake work more effectively then the largest pollinator on earth; wind? The cdc has no written guidance on sitting outside as opposed to inside; masks and distancing are the key. And to make it worse, the people sitting outside are rejecting social distancing… as if being in the outdoors somehow offers magical protection.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    My understanding is the humidity plays a role. AC sucks humidity out of the air. The virus drops to the ground rapidly in high humidity conditions. It floats in less humid conditions.

    Volume of air is the main thing I think. Outdoors air volume is pretty vast so mega dilution.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Outside has dilutional effects on what would constitute an infectious dose inside a confined space. The best analogy would be cigarette smoke. Imagine that everybody is smoking. Then imagine that the infectious dose is approximately what it would take to make your clothes smell like cigarettes. If you are wearing a regular mask, double that. If the other person is wearing a regular mask, double that. If you have an at risk condition, halve that. If you or the other person is wearing a N95 mask properly, ignore that. It’s a rough approximation and the numbers are likely wrong, but the principle stands.

  31. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I heard 1 billion dollars of property damage just in Minneapolis. I think Birx said 70 covid testing sites were destroyed amid protests. If those things are true true it raises questions about how peaceful the protests are in other cities besides Ypsi. Yes or no ColuMbo?

  32. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    The vast majority of American’s do not like logical inconsisties. Public property belongs to the public. In a democracy that means vote on what to do with the property. Go through proper channels if you want. Marxist antifa thinking it has a right to do whatever it wants with public property demonstrates how big of frauds Marxists actually are. Mega frauds.

  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    You are digging your own grave. Enjoy the temporary illusion that you are winning.

  34. Kurt Anschuetz
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I would not go inside. I did have a beer on the tap room patio by myself with minimal interaction and it was great (pre-street patio). What I’m worried about is the servers and the mask off while seated rule. It should be changed to mask on anytime a server is within 6 feet. Smoking was outlawed where servers are present. This is a much greater risk to their health. If you do go to a restaurant make sure you wear your mask when ordering and when your food is being delivered.

  35. Dan Freidus
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I did a rare venture beyond the A2-Ypsi area yesterday and had two polar opposite experiences only a few blocks apart in Dearborn. We planned on eating at Al Tayeb patio but they hadn’t set up outdoor dining and not a single person inside (customer or staff) was wearing a mask. Increased table spacing was the only visible change. We ordered to-go and waited outdoors for the food. Meanwhile, down the street at New Yasmeen every employee wore mask and gloves and all the customers I saw wore masks. They have an eat-in area but nobody was eating there, only getting food to go.

  36. Jim from Slot
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    There is no safe way to have dine in food. If you care about the safety of workers and other people get carry out and stay home.

  37. Kerri
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    We still haven’t been going anywhere. We do get takeout on the weekends to support local places. I think we’ll be doing that for a while. I really miss some places and especially the staff at all of our usual hangs, but I also have a weird immune system (my doctor called it “overreactive”) so it’s just not worth the risk.

    Oh! I can report that The Hair Station in Depot Town is doing an excellent job. My stylist emailed me all of their rules ahead of time. They removed their waiting area so the stations could be safely distanced. They limit how many people can be in there at a time and no one is allowed to come with you to your appointment. They call you when it’s time for you to come in. And everyone wore masks the whole time. I felt very safe.

  38. Korin Hancherlian-Amos
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    At the Nelson Amos Studio in Depot Town, I am seeing customers by appointment at the threshold. The customer stays outside and I am inside at the other end of a 6 foot table. There is an awning and it’s well sheltered. I bring out moulding samples. I have my mat rack next to me. Both of us are wearing masks. I wear an N95 mask. I have disposable gloves and hand sanitizer for my customers. I even have the disposable 4 ply masks in case a customer doesn’t have one. I have set up a barrier on the sidewalk so that pedestrians can keep a safe distance from my customers. I sanitize the table, door knobs, etc. after each customer. I have a latch on the screen door so people can’t just come in, plus the table I have set up blocks the entrance. Everyone has been very happy with the situation. I will keep this up as long as weather permits. If there is a second wave in the fall, we may have to close for a while when it gets cold. No one is allowed to come in.

  39. Autumn Rae
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I am not ready to go out to eat or drink anywhere but I work at Tap Room so 3 days a week I have no choice. I will say that the ownership at Tap is taking this whole thing very seriously and doing everything they can to keep us and the customers safe. That being said, having to enforce proper mask wearing constantly is exhausting. I here people bitch about it all the time, the flu kills people too, masks dont help, its a hoax, Bill Gates….ugh. Since I have not been anywhere else this is 2nd hand but Powells is not enforcing masks or distancing. It’s basically a dance party in a living room and you get bullied for wearing a mask and Sidetracks has a great outside space but still allow people to congregate at the bar and inside, managers are walking around with a mask covering only their mouth, so there doesn’t seem to be a good example being set. I’ve also heard Aubrees is a nightmare, but this is all 2nd hand There is an anonymous questionnaire on the servers of Washtenaw Co. Page and I have been told by admin that some employees of Ypsi and Ann Arbor have tested positive but because of the way the law is worded the general public doesn’t have to be informed. I’m just waiting for an outbreak since we all share a customer base and Im hoping I wont be a causality.

  40. Wobblie
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Aloha FF, you need to grasp how insurance coverage works. Individually each of the establishments are probably screwed insurance wise. If on the other hand the damages are extensive enough to get declared a disaster zone, money becomes available.
    If you don’t have an event that racks up a billion dollars in insurance claims you just are not going to matter. I don’t imagine the damage was as bad as a good devils night back in the day.

  41. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Your claim is that the losses are being inflated? Do you have evidence of that? If the damages passed the threshold then they would not need to inflate the numbers right? Did Birx have a hidden reason tied to insurance claims when she claimed 70 covid testing sites were destroyed across the US? Or is that number legit in your opinion?

  42. Anonymous
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    A covid testing site is likely no more than a couple of canopies, some traffic cones, and a folding table. They are collection sites. The testing is done elsewhere in a lab.

  43. Wobblie
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, kinda like you being unable to discern the difference between 70 testing sites closed during the civil unrest vs. destroyed. Every commercial insurance policy I have had (my home policy also has this exclusion) excludes damages caused by civil unrest, insurrection and since 2001 terrorism , so yeah any business person worth a damn, and their insurance adjuster is busy inflating the damage. It is the American Way.

  44. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    The impulse you guys have for minimizing everything that does not support your narrative is obvious. I was not assuming that testing labs were being destroyed. The minimal and temporary testing sites usually consist of cones, canopies, signage, and semi permanent trailers. Yes or no ColuMbo? Birx did not say the operations were suspended or damaged. She said that 70 testing sites were “destroyed”. Yes or no ColuMbo?

  45. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Are you suggesting the sites were not destroyed? I don’t know. I am just going by Birx’s statement.

  46. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Are you suggesting the sites were not actually destroyed? Evidence that she misspoke?

  47. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Canopy damage? Misplaced traffic cones?

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/health/scores-of-testing-sites-forced-to-close-because-of-vandalism-in-civil-unrest/2020/06/03/e6d9fa54-a4e6-11ea-b473-04905b1af82b_story.html%3foutputType=amp

  48. Annie Palmer
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Said this in other places but Cultivate is doing a good job. Right now the only model I’m okay with is grabbing a drink from the counter and taking it outside to enjoy far away from other people.

  49. Bruce Conforth
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I understand that businesses need to make money to stay alive, but what I don’t understand is why anybody feels, as though they just HAVE TO go to a bar or restaurant when they can do take out or delivery? Are, we really so childish that we just have to do things that are against every experts better judgement? Everything I’e read says 6 feet is NOT enough… That the virus can linger in the air for quite some time, and that wind can actually help the virus to spread. What is wrong with everyone who feels they just have to be seen in public? There’s not a chance in hell this is ever going to go away until everyone is responsible.

  50. Posted June 28, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for the comments. This is a great conversation, and I appreciate that all of you took the time to weigh in. I was particularly struck by this comment left by Anonymous. It’s really helping me to visualize the issue.

    “Outside has dilutional effects on what would constitute an infectious dose inside a confined space. The best analogy would be cigarette smoke. Imagine that everybody is smoking. Then imagine that the infectious dose is approximately what it would take to make your clothes smell like cigarettes. If you are wearing a regular mask, double that. If the other person is wearing a regular mask, double that. If you have an at risk condition, halve that. If you or the other person is wearing a N95 mask properly, ignore that. It’s a rough approximation and the numbers are likely wrong, but the principle stands.”

  51. Brian
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Palm palace and lan city noodle both do a fantastic job. Palm palace has excellent curbside and lan city closed to retool their restaurant for takeout only. You stay outside until your order number is in the window then go get it. You have to use their iPad as they are on the other side of plexi glass but there is ample hand sanitizer there after you ring yourself up.

  52. Shannon
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Not one employee wearing a mask at Mr. Pizza on Washtenaw, near Mansfield. I sent a note of disapproval to their website and let them know that I’d no longer be ordering takeout from there.

    You have to enter the store to pick up your take out order, too. So you’re basically walking into a possible super spreader.

  53. Matt Jones
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Well since you didn’t do it, I’ll just move my comment over here for you: Powell’s fuckin’ sucks. In a world of uncertainty, at least one thing remains predictable.

  54. JL Finch
    Posted June 28, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I have worked in the restaurant industry for 15 years. It is commendable that people feel badly for not supporting local establishments but ultimately that is not the responsibility of individuals. The government still has done almost nothing to directly help the restaurant industry, despite the fact that it is one of the largest sectors of the US economy. There is no safe way to do dine-in. It seems like almost all of the commenters on this page are taking things seriously and trying to do right but many have also observed how many people are not being carful, being lackadaisical or dismissive of guidelines, at times mocking or being aggressive to workers. Those people are endangering us all but most especially they are endangering all of the workers. And the fact that “well behaved” people are out enables them. Please refrain from dining out. The outbreak from Harpers is nearing 100 people and it has also been linked to an outbreak in Grosse Pointe, almost 100 miles away. JP Morgan/CHASE bank analyzed data from 30 million accounts and increased restaurant spending accurately predicted a spike in cases 3 weeks later. Higher spending at grocery stores was associated with lower caseloads in communities. We cannot ignore the systemic racism that is inherent in the manifestation of this disease. Black and Brown people are being disproportionately affected by all measures. We must be in solidarity with each other. Remember what it was like in March and April when SE MI was hurting so badly? We looked at the rest of the country and wished they would take this pandemic seriously. I feel we are doing the same thing to our fellow Americans and that it will undoubtedly bring new grief to us. Eating out is not a necessity. It never has been. It is a pleasant and at times very meaningful experience but it is not worth the risk in our current situation. We are only 3 1/2 months in to this pandemic. Parts of west Africa routinely have to deal with pandemics for years. Modifying our behavior for a few months is nothing.

  55. Christine Moellering
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Poke Fish, Blaze China Chef and Mancinos are all doing well with SD.
    Didn’t have time to read every word above but those are my positive experiences. I haven’t been out much but I am avoiding Kroger a lot. My friend was working at the one on Carpenter. It’s not good there and she was infected with Covid at work. I am not happy with Kroger’s handling of masks and PPE. They are lazy and unwilling to even protect their own employees. Makes me mad because I liked to shop there in the past.

  56. Lynne
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Honestly, I am still mad at Powell’s for taking down the “Liquor Sandwiches” sign. I have never been there and never will go there because of that so I guess I am safe. :)

  57. Anonymous
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Got confirmation that Kroger is a mess mask wise. My selfish advice is to get a hold of N95 masks if you can, even better if you can get enough to put into a 3 day rotation, and then have one on hand in the event that you cannot avoid a crowded non masked area, if getting coronavirus is a concern. Put a regular mask over it. We tried cooperation and it’s not working, so I’m going to look out for number one as well as protecting people around me.

  58. Mike
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    i’ve had great dine/drink-in experiences at Tap Room and Wurst Bar – ownership and staff there are taking things seriously and i haven’t seen issues with enforcement, but i always go at very off-hours.

    one place i wanted to mention specifically is Sticks/Aubrees, who have posted signs about wearing masks, etc. but zero enforcement from staff. it’s the only place i’ve gone recently (other than Kroger) that makes me feel unsafe. i understand that Sticks has now shut down their pool tables and other games to keep people from congregating.

    speaking of Kroger, that place is a nightmare. zero enforcement regarding number of people or masks – last time i went there it was packed, and maybe 25% wearing PPE, including staff, so i turned around and left. Fresh Thyme has been my go-to for groceries.

  59. Josh Chamberlain
    Posted June 29, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Outdoor seating is not safe, because people still exhale. Breezes carry particles, potentially further than indoors. I have had to get takeout a few times and mask use was inconsistent at best. Bars and restaurants are getting people killed and cowards in government are letting it happen, full stop.

  60. Posted June 29, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Mike, just to let you know we have removed all the bar stools and shut down all games, including pool. Being the Covid police is tough! It’s much easier to take away any temptations. Servers and staff always wear a mask and we suggest our guests to wear one if they have to move around. We want to be part of the solution……

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