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Local bar has mixed emotions about epidemic order extension

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    BAY CITY, Michigan (WNEM) — An extension of the state health department epidemic order means five more weeks of 50% capacity for restaurants.

It’s the cost of doing business, as covid hospitalizations increase.

The staff at Stables Martini and Cigar Bar on Midland Street in Bay City have mixed emotions.

“It’s better than being shut down. Better than the negative. So, I wouldn’t say happy or bummed, really just a happy medium,” said assistant Manager Courtnee Moffett.

“Not happy, but also happy. I mean we all expected to be closed down again but we’re not,” said bartender Lauren Rogers.

Moffett said keeping up with the restrictions has been tough, especially when it comes to staffing.

“I feel really bad because I just want to give them all these shifts and be really really busy. But if you don’t have the customers coming in then there’s really no shifts to give. A normal Saturday night here we’d have like four or five girls. Now it’s like two,” Moffett said.

Rodgers said she had to pick up a second job to make up for lost wages.

“I was only able to work one or two shifts compared to before the pandemic I was working almost every night, plus weekends,” Rodgers said.

Even though Stables does have the ability to expand outside, they said it’s just not the same when they can only have half capacity.

“It’s much slower. 50%, you would think it’s not that crazy, but it actually is,” Rodgers said.

Filling up that 50% capacity tonight are bargoers Allen Brownlee and Edward Barnett. Barnett said enough is enough.

“If we just keep extending it and extending it, eventually all of these businesses that make this area so great, are going to fail,” Barnett said.

The state health department said these restrictions are necessary to bring down COVID-19 rates and to give hospitals a fighting chance.

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