TRAVERSE CITY, MI - Beer flowed in the wee hours Friday and pancakes were back on the griddle as bars and restaurants in northern Michigan were allowed to reopen at 12:01 a.m. after a two-month shutdown because of coronavirus restrictions.
"It's crazy. Why would you miss it?" Jon Mangrum told WPBN-TV as he waited to get into a bar in Traverse City. "This is like a historical moment almost when everyone first goes back out when things are allowed to be open."
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted some restrictions for the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula, although only a certain number of customers are allowed inside to drink or dine. The region hasn't been hit as hard with cornonavirus and COVID-19 as other areas of Michigan.
The owner of Brady's Bar in Traverse City had a message for people who are thinking of making a road trip: Stay away from her business.
"We deserve to feel safe and I would like to keep my staff and customers as safe as I can, and I'm asking that people from downstate don't come in until they're quarantined or their areas are also opened up," said Nolen Sleder.
Whitmer announced more changes Thursday, clearing the way for medical procedures that had been postponed and allowing groups of up to 10 people to gather. Retailers can reopen by appointment only, starting Tuesday.