Michigan Restaurant Owner Threatened For Trying Save Family Business
The owner of a restaurant in western Michigan is defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order by reopening in a late-ditch effort to save his business.
“It’s just been one different set of rules after another,” Cory said of the state’s ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
Whitmer, he complained, “throws up something different every time you turn around.”
Cory made the comments two days after Whitmer, a Democrat, extended her stay-at-home order to June 12 — the fifth extension of a mandate that has put her at odds with Republican lawmakers and sparked anti-lockdown protests.
The order, called “Safer at Home,” will extend temporary business closures and movement restrictions in an effort to combat the pandemic. Whitmer also extended her state of emergency through June 19, WJBK-TV reported.
In a statement, she said that while Michigan COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining, “we are not out of the woods yet.”
Cory said Jimmy’s Roadhouse has been in his family since 1970 but he wonders if the business can survive the outbreak.
Cory estimates he’s lost about $65,000 since mid-March, when Whitmer told restaurants to close dining rooms and offer only takeout.
While Cory says he received a loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, he said the money can only be used to pay his employees.
The restaurant opened Wednesday afternoon and within an hour more than a dozen parties were seated, according to WOOD TV8.
“We had a great turnout,” Cory said Sunday.
He doesn’t know if it will be his last.
He pointed out that he took safety precautions seating customers at least ten feet apart inside a large tent outside his restaurant.
“I was inspected on Wednesday by the liquor control and the health department and then Thursday morning I was called by the state police and I had sit-down meeting with the state police and the head of the health department,” Cory said on Sunday, adding that he was treated with “dignity and respect,” but was told he could not reopen.
Cory noted that since he violated Whitmer’s executive order on Wednesday he was told his licenses would be suspended if he continued to operate while the executive order was in place, so he did not reopen on Thursday.
“They had to follow the orders that came down from the top and we have to change who is making those orders from the top,” Cory said on Sunday.
Author: Talia Kaplan