Bars in Lower Michigan Can’t Serve Booze Indoors – Or Can They?
I have a friend I've known for a long time coming to Grand Rapids on business in a couple of weeks. He comes to Grand Rapids a couple of times a year and we usually meet up to have a couple of adult beverages. This is the first time he's been in Michigan this year, so when he told he me he was coming this time, all I could tell him was, "I have no idea what the rules are now when it comes to 'adult beverages in bars'. Let me check and get back to you."
Apparently, I'm not alone. Even people who work for the state are having some problems figuring this out.
According to MLive.com, who shared the link - as of July 1st, the rule in Lower Michigan is as follows:
Food service establishments, as defined in section 1107(t) of the Michigan Food Law, 2000 PA 92, as amended, MCL 289.1107(t), that hold on-premises retailer licenses to sell alcoholic beverages must close for indoor service if they earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages.
Executive order 2020-143 also states:
Restaurants can remain open for indoor service, but alcohol can be served only to patrons who are seated at socially distanced tables. Common areas where people stand and congregate within restaurants must be closed. Restaurants and bars may remain open for outdoor seating, but only for seated customers at socially distanced tables.
So, hopefully, it will be a nice day and we can sit outside - or we can find an establishment that makes less than 70% of it's money from alcohol sales, order some onion rings and sit inside. (I'll be asking to see their books)
And there's the problem - the people who have to enforce this law have no way of knowing how much bars or restaurants are making off selling food and/or alcohol. Obviously this was meant to shut down a lot of nightclubs and strip clubs (where they sell the illusion of love and booze - and a lot less food), but it's causing a lot of confusion.