Has This Mt. Morris Restaurant Found a Way Around Michigan’s COVID-19 Restrictions?
A Mid-Michigan restaurant is attempting to sidestep restrictions put in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services which ban indoor dining.
Gillie's Coney Island in Mt. Morris is currently offering patrons the opportunity to dine indoors, one family at a time. Owner Dave Gillie says he is allowing parties of up to six people from the same household to eat inside the restaurant as long as no other customers are present.
But is this a sustainable workaround or could the move result in a citation from the state of Michigan?
Gillie's interpretation of the language in the 'Gatherings and Face Mask Order' put in place by the MDHHS leads him to believe that he is not violating the state order. He tells CapCon that "a single diner or a household group of fewer than six is not considered 'a gathering.'"
So far, the restaurant has not received a citation. But Gillie says he has been contacted by a supervisor with the Genesee County Health Department who claimed she would “shut me down and issue violations.” Gillie says the supervisor referenced several complaints about the restaurant's practice but has doubts about the validity of those complaints. He is inclined to believe the state became aware of his restaurant's policy because of social media.
Gillie tells WEYI that during a routine health inspection, he was told by a health inspector that he was in compliance with guidelines put in place by the state. But shortly thereafter, another inspector told him he was in violation of the law.
The restauranteur told the second inspector that if a citation was issued, he would fight it in court. Weeks later, he has yet to have received a fine or citation.
Michigan's ban on indoor dining is currently set to expire on January 15.