Whitmer’s executive order restricts eateries to carry-out and delivery to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On March 16, an executive order from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ended on-premises service at restaurants and bars throughout the state for the foreseeable future to limit public exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The businesses will be allowed to provide carry-out and delivery service.
Although Whitmer had previously barred gatherings of 250 or more, she said it disturbed her to see online images of revelers crowded into Michigan bars for pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. On March 17, she went a step further, banning all gatherings of 50 people or more, while White House guidelines this week recommended limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Illinois and Ohio are among the states whose bars and restaurants were also ordered closed in response to the global pandemic.
“She’s doing the right thing,” said Steven Goldberg of Whitmer, owner of Stage Deli Fine Foods in West Bloomfield. “She’s wise to limit public gatherings to flatten the [pandemic cases] curve.”
Goldberg said his restaurant will be “open as usual for carry-out and delivery, and we hope to serve the community as best as we can.”
Taste of Ethiopia in Southfield ended its luncheon buffet on March 11, the day after Whitmer announced the first two cases of coronavirus in Michigan and declared a health emergency. Co-owner Meski Gebreyohannes said they began taking extra precautions from then on.
“We upgraded our cleaning in the restaurant using bleach,” Gebreyohannes said. “We put up a sign telling [customers] to wash their hands and gave them hot towels after they did wash.
“We’re hoping to do carry-out only,” she said, expressing concern that “we don’t know how long this [emergency] could go.”
With the governor’s announcement, Monday was the last day of operation for Soul Café, a project of Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield.
“The Friendship Circle board decided to take the precaution to close up entirely until further notice,” said manager Shalom Shomer. “What are you going to do? In other countries, they are closing everything down — even the carry-outs.”
Elana Cohen, front manager of Prime 10 in Southfield, said the kosher Middle Eastern restaurant will continue offering curbside pickup and carry-outs. Customers may order online or use the Grubhub food delivery service.
Laura Palokha manages the Farmington Hills location of G George’s, a popular American restaurant. In response to the governor’s order today, “we’re closing our front door at 3, but will continue with curbside carry-outs and delivery until 7,” she said. “We’re open every day from 11 to 7.”
Carryout and Delivery Options
Andiamo and Joe Muer Seafood restaurants announced they are offering carry out curbside carry-out options to patrons. Patrons should call upon arrival and a staff member will bring the meal outside. These meal options will be available Monday through Sunday from noon until 8 p.m.
Bacco Ristorante and Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina will have simplified menus with items that travel well. They will be open six days a week for lunch and dinner.
Forest in Birmingham is offering delivery service. The menu will change daily and be posted on social media. Orders will be taken 11 a.m.-5 p.m., with deliveries arriving between 5-7 p.m. The full wine list will also be available.
How can you find out the options available at your favorite restaurant? BMG Media has created a free website, www.detroitfoodupdates.com, where the community can check out the status of area establishments. The site is updated in real time, and restaurants operators can upload new information on the site.