An emergency shutdown hearing was held on Friday for five restaurants that remained open for indoor dining in violation of the state’s public health order.
LANCING, Michigan. – Hearings were held on Friday to suspend licensing licenses for five restaurants, which opposed the state’s recent ban on eating indoors, including three in western Michigan.
Among them is Jimmy’s Roadhouse in Newaygo, whose license was suspended last week as it continues to sit and serve patrons in violation of a state public health order designed to slow the spread of COVID-1
Jim Corey, owner of Jimmy’s Roadhouse, said the state recommended a $ 600 fine and a 60-day suspension of his alcohol license.
“We expect to lose,” he said after the hearing. “We will appeal.”
Corey says his business remains open, but he doesn’t serve alcohol at the moment. Ammunition is visiting from across the region, he said.
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“They want to support me and the others and let us know that they think these orders are stupid, ridiculous and contrary to what is fair and right,” Corey said Friday afternoon. “The biggest thing is that it is against their right to exercise free will.”
Friday’s hearing was before administrative law judge Mike St. John. He said he hoped to rule on the five cases by Monday.
Other companies that have conducted emergency hearings are Brew Works of Fremont, Newaygo County, and Chapz Roadhouse of the Montcalm County community in Lakeview.
Marsha Perilu, an investigator with the Alcohol Control Commission, testified that she visited Chaps on November 21 and found patrons eating and drinking inside. She said she returned to business on Thursday (December 3rd) and watched as masked patrons were served food.
Perilloux showed numerous photos taken in the business of patrons who eat and drink.
During questioning by attorney Stephen P. Kalman, Perilloux said he was unaware of COVID-19 cases involving Chapz.
“My client has to make a terrible choice,” Kalman told the judge. “Either stay open and face this action, or close and lose the job and business of her life. And these are difficult decisions. “
Friday’s hearings also included The Place Place in Fenton and Mine Shaft and Rock House Grill & Tavern in Houghton.
An assistant to the Michigan Attorney General said the companies had shown “complete disregard for public safety and health.”
Several restaurants in the state have apparently opposed a public health order in Michigan that went into effect Nov. 18. The provisions of the order include a ban on indoor eating. The current order is until December 8.
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An emergency stop was issued earlier this week for the Iron Pig Smokehouse in the northern community of Michigan in Gaylord. A state news release said the business allows for personal catering and does not require face coverage for staff and patrons.
A hearing is scheduled for December 11 to determine whether the suspension should continue or other fines and penalties should be imposed.
“These prohibited rallies, without requiring patrons to wear face masks, pose an immediate threat to public health, safety and well-being,” the December 3 state statement said.
Violators of the “Collection Order and Face Masks” issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Humanitarian Services risk having their alcohol licenses suspended or revoked.