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A federal judge is weighing whether to strike down Michigan’s ban on indoor dining after a hearing Monday. A decision isn't expected until Tuesday evening, at the earliest.

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association is suing to get a state ban on indoor dining lifted. A temporary three week ban on indoor dining was put in place two weeks ago as COVID-19 cases began to surge.

Restaurant industry attorney Kelli Mulder told a federal judge that “constitutional liberties need to be protected...even in a time of pandemic.”

an empty row of tables at a restaurant
Andrew Seaman / Unsplash

A lawsuit challenging Michigan’s temporary ban on indoor dining is set for a hearing in federal court Monday morning.


Michigan’s restaurant industry filed the suit after state health department officials imposed a three week ban on indoor dining November 15. The ban was imposed in response to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Michigan.

Restaurant workings sanitizing tables while wearing masks.
Anatoliy / Adobe Stock

Michigan’s new COVID-19 order shuttering indoor service in bars and restaurants for three weeks is now being challenged in federal court.

The new rules were announced Sunday. The order will allow take-out, delivery, and outdoor dining only starting Wednesday.

The rules are intended to blunt a spike in COVID-19 cases in Michigan. 

Michigan Tech University from an aerial view
Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, former Congressman Bart Stupak joins us to talk about the political climate in rural Michigan, and what he observes as the Democratic party moves left. Plus, the Upper Peninsula is dealing with some scary spikes in COVID-19 infection rates. We'll talk to Michigan Tech University's president about how that influenced his decision to pause some face-to-face classes.

instagram/thegreenmilegrille

In March of 2019, Daqwan Fistrunk opened up The Green Mile Grille in Detroit. Prior to starting the restaurant, Fistrunk spent seven years in prison, mostly at Lakeland Correctional in Coldwater, Michigan. That's where he met Jimmy Lee Hill, the executive chef at Lakeland who eventually became his mentor.