Michigan Restaurant Owners Fear Losing Licenses if Defying State Orders [VIDEO]
One week after urging fellow restaurant owners to defy Michigan's ban on indoor dining, the owners of Andiamo Restaurants are crying uncle.
Joe and Rosalie Vicari appeared on Fox Business 'Varney & Co.', saying that they have no choice but to abide by orders that have been issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“We learned very quickly it's hard to fight City Hall,” Rosalie Vicari said. “When you work in an industry that is controlled by licenses, a food license and a liquor license that the state holds, you don't have a lot of say.”
The couple recently sent letters to fellow restaurateurs urging them to band together if Michigan's 'Three Week Pause to Save Lives' was extended beyond December 8. Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Monday (12/7) that the order set forth by the MDHHS would be extended for another 12 days, until December 20.
Joe Vicari told host Stuart Varney that while many restaurant owners were on board with the idea of reopening against state orders, attorneys advised against the move.
"We had about 400 restaurants come together," he said, "[Our] first thoughts were to just open restaurants, and it's been told to us that their mission would be to close every restaurant down. So if it was 20 or if it was 400, they would come and take your liquor license or take your food license."
Rosalie Vicari went on to say that they feel restaurants are safe for both employees and customers because they've been following proper coronavirus protocols. The Vicaris own 23 restaurants in Southeast Michigan, including Andiamo Restaurant in Fenton.