Violating COVID-19 restrictions announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is proving costly for several Michigan bars and restaurants.
Wood Chips Barbecue bar in Lapeer received a $4,000 penalty for serving patrons inside in December; A sushi joint in Hartland was fined $2,000 and an Irish pub in Farmington Hills faces a $1,000 fine for the same thing.
The largest fine went to Spangler's Family Restaurant on Chicago Road in Jonesville, which received an $11,000 fine.
Still, the list of violators is relatively small, state officials said, adding that most are following the rules.
“I thank the vast majority of restaurant and bar owners for helping us contain the spread of COVID-19 by temporarily closing their indoor service,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We continue to see improvements in the numbers, and we know that the public health orders we have put in place are working. I look forward to the day when indoor service can reopen.”
The most recent set of citations issued by MDHHS in December were to the following establishments, with penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation or day that a violation continues:
Café Rosetta, 102 Fifth Street, Calumet, Issued Dec. 2, $4,000
Big Boy of Sandusky, 422 West Sanilac Road, Issued, Dec. 2, $5,000
Hatorando Sushi, 10586 Highland Road, Hartland, Issued Dec. 2, $2,000
Iron Pig Smokehouse, 143 W. Main Street, Issued Dec. 2, Gaylord, $5,000
Rockhouse Grill & Tavern, 915 Razorback Drive, Houghton, Issued Dec. 4, $1,000
Spangler’s Family Restaurant, 601 E. Chicago Road, Jonesville, Issued Dec. 16, $11,000
Cravins, 389 S. Meridian #9710, Hudson, Issued Dec. 16, $1,000
Bernita Mae Café, 80 N. 3rd Street, PO Box 53, Issued Dec. 16, Sand Lake, $4,000
Jimmy's Roadhouse, 8574 Mason Drive, Newaygo, Issued Dec. 16, $1,000
D&R Daily Grind, 8712 Portage Road, Portage, Issued Dec. 16, $2,000
Wild Roast Coffee, 4035 Chicago Drive SW, Grandville, Issued Dec. 16, $2,000
Woodchips Barbecue, 315 West Nepessing Street, Lapeer, Issued Dec. 16, $4,000
John Cowley & Sons Irish Pub, 33338 Grand River Avenue, Farmington, Issued Dec. 16, $1,000
Information was received by MDHHS from local health departments and local law enforcement regarding non-compliance with the order. The civil fines are due within 30 days of receipt of the citations.
“The number of cases, the positivity rate, and hospital capacity have declined in recent weeks, taking stress off our hospitals and health care workers. We will continue to monitor the data and assess for any potential surges in cases after the holidays,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “Most food service establishments like restaurants and bars have helped play a critical role in the existing decline by following the order.”
To date, there have been more than 500,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, resulting in more than 12,000 deaths.
The public can report any suspected non-compliance issue at an establishment directly to their local health department or to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission online or by calling the enforcement hotline, toll-free, at 866-893-2121.
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.