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Michigan Licensed Beverage Association

Serving Liquor Licensees Since 1939

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STATEWIDE: Whitmer Allows Bars and Restaurants to Reopen, Lifts Stay-At-Home Order

Mason Doerr  | Published on 6/1/2020


The MLBA is happy to announce that Governor Whitmer has moved the entire state into Phase 4 of her MI Safe Start plan. Although the official outline for Phase 4 states that bars and restaurants will only be allowed to be open for carry-out service, beginning next week at 12:01 a.m., on June 8, bars and restaurants statewide will be allowed to open for in-house service (including alcohol service) with some stipulations. The governor also lifted her stay-at-home order.


From the Order: 
Unless otherwise prohibited by local regulation, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and like places may be open to the public as follows:


(a) For delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and may permit up to five members of the public at one time for the purpose of picking up their food or beverage orders, so long as those individuals are at least six feet apart from one another while on premises.


(b) In Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7, beginning at 12:01 am on June 8, 2020, for outdoor and indoor seating, subject to the capacity constraints and workplace standards described in Executive Order 2020-97 or any order that may follow from it.


(c) In Regions 6 and 8, for outdoor and indoor seating, subject to the capacity constraints and workplace standards described in Executive Order 2020-97 or any order that may follow from it.


“Our hard work of pushing the Governor’s Office has finally paid off,” said MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis. “The state is moving in the right direction to get all of us opened at full capacity. We are looking forward to that soon.”


Many businesses, including bars, restaurants and retail will be able to open with a 50 percent occupancy restriction.


“We are continuing to work with the legislature to get a package of bills passed and to the governor’s desk to help us continue surviving upon reopening,” Ellis said. “We need the legislature to act on Senate Bill 942. We hope to have more information for you on this later in the week.”


The bill includes a number of important items for industry, including: cocktails to go, social drinking zones and allowing on-premises licensees to purchase an unlimited quantity of spirits from an off-premises retailer. The legislation also expands the spirits discount for on-premises licensees, expands outdoor service areas, requires wholesalers to replace or refund expired products and allows for two-for-one pricing on alcoholic beverages.


Employers must also establish COVID-19 training for staff. At a minimum, employers must provide employees with homemade face masks and employees may ask patrons to remove their masks for identification purposes. All patrons must remain six feet apart from one another.