Over the past few months, Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has become infamous in many parts of the country for her incredibly strict COVID-19 restrictions. After she just announced her latest “very frustrating” coronavirus restrictions on the people of Michigan, however, hundreds of restaurant owners are fighting back.
The owners of the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group have brought together hundreds of restaurant owners from all over the state who are ready to fight Whitmer’s latest orders with everything they have.
“I called my restaurant groups in southeastern Michigan to band together,” Joe Vicari, the president and owner of the restaurant group, told Fox Business. “We had about 400 restaurants come together.”
He went on to say that the restaurant owners were able to come together via Skype, given the fact that there are heavy restrictions on in-person gatherings in the state.
“We’re standing united,” he explained. “We want to get to a solution with the governor to reopen restaurants.”
This came after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a “three-week pause,” beginning on November 18, that was set to ban all indoor dining until December 8. However, Whitmer ominously said last week that she is open to extending this order further.
“At this point in time, it’s really too early to say precisely where we will be in a few days, much less next week,” Whitmer said. “But I think it’s important for people to know, we’ve not predetermined anything.”
“I would anticipate early next week we’ll have a much better idea of what this pause has meant (and) if people have taken it seriously and done their part,” she added. “If everyone does their part, we’ll see these numbers drop.”
Vicari went on to say that he and his fellow restaurant owners initially thought they would “just open restaurants,” but they were told by lawyers that the authorities have the power to close every restaurant down.
“We learned very quickly it’s hard to fight City Hall,” said Rosalie Vicari, a co-owner of the restaurant group. “When you work in an industry that is controlled by licenses, a food license and a liquor license that the state holds, you don’t have a lot of say.”
She added that restaurants are a safe place for both staffers and diners alike.
“We, as restaurateurs, feel very confident that we’ve been following the protocols that have been established by the governor to make our restaurants safe,” she said.