Toast of the Town … Finally, good things happening for bars and restaurants

Bars and restaurants can now remain open until 11 p.m., and the maximum capacity has been increased to 50 percent.File photo

By Alan Madlane
Good news, bar- and restaurant-goers, and owners.
As of today, Friday, March 5 (and in effect until at least April 19), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has loosened some restrictions on state bars and restaurants, allowing them to stay open an hour longer, until 11 p.m., and expanding the amount of people that can be served at any given time.
Eateries and bars will now be able to operate at 50 percent capacity with a 100-person maximum.
Additionally, nursing homes are now open to visitation, under certain restraints. Gyms and casinos can be at 30%, retail businesses at 50%, indoor entertainment venues (bowling alleys, bingo halls, billiard places, etc) can be at 50%, up to 300 people.
Indoor gatherings of mixed households may now go to 25 persons, allowing for business meetings and so on. Outdoor events – think summer weddings, for example, or golf tourneys – can have up to 300.
Indoor stadiums can hold 375 if capacity is under 10,000, or 750 if over; outdoor stadiums can now legally accommodate 1,000 persons (hello, Comerica Park!).
Also, back on the food and beverage front, Michigan State Rep. Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Twp.) has sponsored a bill that would allow alcohol sales until 4 a.m., up from the long-traditional 2 a.m. in the state.
Finally, the city of Ferndale just up the road (what road is that, again?) is one of the latest cities to have okayed the “social district” outdoor eating concept. They’ve targeted next month as the time to implement it.
This is something Hamtramck should absolutely be looking at doing as well, where possible.
True, restaurants have been able to serve outdoors already. But this is more at the idea of creating areas such as city parking lots adjacent to restaurants, where people could be served food and drink.
Might the city even consider allowing open carry city-wide, a la New Orleans?
Well, probably not.
But at this point, the city should be looking at all options to stimulate the hospitality industry for which the city is so beloved.
When it comes to good food and great times, Hamtramck has plenty to offer. In this column, we talk about what’s happening at our bars, restaurants and at other events throughout the city.
Posted March 5, 2021

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