MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Even though Upper Peninsula bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen at 12:01 a.m. Friday, it was a quiet night in downtown Marquette.
A look through the front window of Remie's Tavern in Marquette after it reopened, May 22, 2020 (WLUC image).
TV6 & FOX UP only found one downtown bar that opened just after midnight. A line of 11 people filed into Remie's Tavern, including Anna Barton.
"Well this is my first bar ever going to," Barton said. "Quarantine ruined the 21st."
Barton, waiting with a small group of friends, said she only planned to have one drink. Bars and restaurants have been closed since March 16 because of coronavirus concerns.
The owner of Remie's says he's taking the required precautions.
"All of the guidelines outlined in the order from the state, from providing the apparel to our staff - face masks, rubber gloves - to removing many of the seating to provide the 50 percent capacity," Russ Modell said. And markings on the floor to give people an idea about how far six feet apart is."
In Michigan, customers are supposed to wear face coverings when they enter bars and restaurants. You don't face a criminal penalty if you don't, but a business could ask you to leave. You obviously won't be expected to wear a mask while eating.
"We encourage people to practice these things so we can get on with a good summer and great business for everybody in the community and the city," said Modell.
Gov. Whitmer announced Monday that bars and restaurants could reopen Friday in Upper Michigan and Northern Lower Michigan with many restrictions
"These regions stand apart from the rest of the state in terms of COVID-19 health indicators," Whitmer said.
Aside from Remie's, the rest of downtown Marquette looked as it has for the past two months - very quiet. While some businesses will reopen later Friday, others are sticking with their takeout and delivery options or not opening yet at all.
For people not ready to eat or drink out, Marquette County parks and green spaces reopen Friday.
"The one thing we want to avoid is a setback because none of us want to go back to where we were six weeks ago," said Mike Angeli, Marquette City Manager.
At Remie's, Modell says it's time to look forward.
"I really believe that a lot of the businesses did a great job with this, and talking to many business owners myself, knowing that they kept themself in a pretty good place for a successful reopening and this community to be able to enjoy a great America and Memorial Day weekend and so many great things once again as we did before."