Michigan restaurant owner violates governor’s order, reopens to try to save his business

by Peter Heck · May 25th, 2020 10:02 am

Risking the revoking of his license, the owner of a Michigan restaurant reopened his dining room in an effort to save his business amid his state's ongoing lockdown.

Jim Cory, the owner of Jimmy's Roadhouse in the rural town of Newaygo, says Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's "safer-at-home" mandate has cost him $65,000 since it closed his dining services in March.

Saying Whitmer "throws up something different every time you turn around," Cory determined the only chance of saving his family-owned business was to creatively open the restaurant's doors Wednesday of last week. In a large, makeshift tent outside his restaurant, parties were seated at least 10 feet from one another.

"We had a great turnout," Cory said Sunday.

That great turnout caught the attention of authorities from the health department and state police who warned Cory that another violation of the governor's executive order would result in the suspension of his operating license.

Whitmer recently extended her lockdown mandate, which includes the closure of some businesses, for the fifth time. Reopenings in Michigan will not be granted until at least June 12, with the state of emergency lasting until June 19.

Although he received a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, Cory said the money could only go to pay employees, while the rest of the costs associated with maintaining his shuttered business continue to mount.

The restaurant owner said he did not blame the police and health department officials who visited him.

"They had to follow the orders that came down from the top and we have to change who is making those orders from the top," Cory said.


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