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Governor Whitmer’s latest executive order draws mixed reactions

Certain bars will close at midnight Thursday under the new order
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:08 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s latest executive order increases restrictions on Upper Michigan bars in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Under this new executive order, some establishments will effectively close down while others may have to alter how they serve the public.

Kyle Rundman, Owner at Brogie’s Tavern in Ishpeming finalized the purchase of the bar in early October, 2019. Rundman was busy Thursday, stocking up on inventory for last one hoorah before his bar shuts down indefinitely at midnight as a result of the governors latest order.

"We're still going to adhere to all the rules tonight but we're going to try to get some people in the bar. We've got one last night here that we can try and save face a little bit," Rundman asserted.

He says he's not sure whether Governor Whitmer made the right decision or not.

"It's hard to say. She's doing what she thinks is right to keep people safe. I know a lot of people want to get out and enjoy their lives, which they have the right to do. I don't know if you can really say if there's a right or wrong way to handle it," Rundman reasoned.

Meanwhile Jay Clancey at Cognition Brewery says it's business as usual on his closed section of Maple Street in Ishpeming.

“The whole outdoor seating thing, I’m a huge fan of it. Even if it wasn’t for COVID-19, I would love to be doing this,” Clancey exclaimed.

Clancey says his permit for this outdoor seating is good through at least October 31 of this year.

"In the UP that's about when it's starting to get cold anyway," Clancey figured.

Of course it's difficult to predict what will happen after that.

“You take a tent like this and start adding a bunch of side curtains, now you’re creating an indoor space and you’re heating it. So we’ll see what happens,” Clancey said.

While Clancey is certainly in a good position to keep his beer flowing, he says he agrees with Governor Whitmer's latest decision.

“I fully support the Governor’s decision to re-close bars. There is no enforcement. Local police departments aren’t going in and enforcing masks and spacing regulations. So you get a bunch of people in the bar and the masks come off and you have a few drinks and everybody gets a little more friendly, whether you forget or you just don’t care anymore. It just takes one person and everybody in the place in going to come away positive,” Clancey announced.

Back at Brogie’s, Rundman would appreciate more options since he says his customers are already following the guidelines previously set forth.

“I think everybody is a little bit frustrated. But it kind of comes with the territory of being an owner. It would be nice if we could be open for day to day business. Put the rules in pace for social distancing and if people want to come out and enjoy a beverage and have a nice meal, maybe give them to right to choose. I don’t know what the right answer is,” Rundman stated.

Criminal penalties for violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders will remain an option for prosecutors. The Emergency Order is issued under MCL 333.2253(1).

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