Local restaurants making their own policies on masks
The latest order by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer leaves staff and business owners in a tough position.
Whitmer's newest order requires businesses to refuse entry to anyone not wearing masks, unless they are under five years old or have a medical condition. It's up to the business to enforce the rule
Pete's Garage has been operating in Monroe, Michigan for more than 40 years. The well-known restaurant, whose owners also run Michigan Bar & Grille, published a Facebook post that is taking heat online, even after being altered multiple times.
The restaurant’s original post stated:
“IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION THAT PREVENTS YOU FROM WEARING A MASK, YOU DON’T NEED TO WEAR ONE
IF YOU ARE NOT WEARING ONE, WE WILL ASSUME THIS IS THE CASE. DUE TO HIPPA, AND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT, WE WILL NOT ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR CONDITION.”
The restaurant has signs posted on the door for their new guidelines, which also include touchless URL menus on tables, seating 6-feet apart, and parties required to be less than 10 people.
Manager Brittany Van Riper says when it comes to medical conditions that may exempt a customer from wearing a mask, “There’s no way of really telling, that’s at the trust of our customers and the trust of our staff.”
Michigan businesses failing to require masks could face a misdemeanor, a $500 fine, and possibly losing their license.
In Toledo, the Ottawa Tavern and other restaurants on Adams Street took a different approach, with their new slogan: "Mask on your face until your butt is in place."
Ottawa Tavern owner Zack Jacobs says he came up with the phrase. Jacobs says the new signage and blanket policies make the dining experience safer for staff and customers.
Face masks are also offered at the door, costing a dollar.
“If you are a person who is compromised and unable to wear a face mask, then maybe going out in public during a pandemic isn’t the wisest move for you to begin with,” Jacobs said. “Consider your own health and safety and making your own good choices for your health and safety before you step out into a local business that’s just trying to stay open and serve our customers in a safe way.”