The UP North Lodge adapts to indoor dining restrictions, struggles to support employees

Though the adaptations are bringing in customers, the restaurants’ employees are still without work.
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 7:29 PM EST
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GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - The UP North Lodge has been quickly adjusting and adapting to the shutdown of indoor dining.

In the spring of 2020, the owners filled out an application to extend the size of their outdoor dining area. Co-owner Sally Searle says that decision “has saved [them].”

The restaurant has created a whole outdoor dining room in its backyard to serve customers, fit with bonfires, an outdoor bar, and a hot chocolate station.

And even though the efforts are still bringing in hungry diners, over 90% of the staff are still at home.

Searle says she is unable to support her employees without indoor dining.

“This line has been moved on us for almost a year now and we just keep adjusting to it and adapting to it because if you don’t…we would never make it,” says Searle. “I mean yeah, we’re doing it. We’re doing it. But it’s not how it should be.”

The staff remain hopeful that they will soon be able to bring customers back inside.

Currently, the UP North Lodge is open Wednesday and Thursdays 3pm-8pm and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12pm-8pm.

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