Things are looking up for fans of Peninsula Grill on the Old Mission Peninsula. The popular eatery, which has been offering takeout orders throughout the COVID-19 shut-down, announced on their Facebook page today that they will open at 50 percent capacity on Friday, May 22, beginning at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and dinner service for the Memorial Day weekend.
“We look forward to serving you again!” notes their Facebook post.
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The news followed today’s press conference by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in which she announced an Executive Order loosening some restrictions in Michigan’s Regions 6 and 8, which encompass the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan, including Traverse City and the Old Mission Peninsula.
Beginning Friday, May 22, the industries that may open in these regions include:
- Retail stores
- Restaurants/bars with limited seating
- Office work that cannot be done remotely
The openings are part of Gov. Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage Michigan’s economy. However, restaurants and bars must limit capacity to 50 percent of their normal seating, keep groups at least six feet from one another, require servers to wear face coverings, follow rigorous disinfection protocols, and follow the guidelines outlined in Executive Order 2020-92.
Gov. Whitmer urged Michiganders to continue following COVID-19 precautions to avoid another shut-down. “As we approach Memorial Day weekend, I encourage everyone to be smart and be safe,” she said. “This is a new way of dining. We’re going to be doing this slowly and engaging slowly.”
She added, “If you’re in the U.P. or Traverse City and choose to go out to a restaurant or store, please do everything in your power to protect yourself from this virus. Our ability to move forward in other regions depends on each of us staying smart and staying safe … Let’s not all go rushing out and force another closure. We want to keep moving forward. Everyone needs to do their part.”
Justin Winslow, President and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, said the governor’s announcement today marks an important step in the industry.
“Restaurants in the U.P. and northern Michigan understand that with their opportunity comes an extraordinary responsibility to operate in a manner that ensures the safety of their guests and their employees,” he said. “I believe they are up to the challenge.”
Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers was also at today’s press conference with Gov. Whitmer. “All regions of Michigan have been affected by COVID-19, and Up North, we want to support the Governor by cautiously opening up some of our economy resources,” he said. “However, in doing so, we must be mindful that wearing masks and continuing to practice social distancing is a must to make this work. Stopping the spread of this virus is still key, and if we can’t, then we will have to close it down again.”
Region 6 in Gov. Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan includes the following counties: Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, and Emmet.