Long Road Distillers and Mitten Brewing vote on in-room dining service closure

BIG RAPIDS, MICH. – Governor Whitmer announced the closure of indoor bar and restaurant services starting Wednesday. A western Michigan company had a head start.

Long Road Distillery chose to end their indoor dining shortly before Whitmer’s announcement, earning a shout from him.

“We certainly weren’t expecting the governor’s cry. That’s not why we did what we did, “said Long Road Distillery co-owner Kyle VanStrien.

VanStrien says the decision was not made lightly.

“We feel a huge responsibility to take care of them, and they come to visit them, as we serve them, and also for their health and well-being,” said VanStrien.

On Mitten Brewing Company’s eighth anniversary Monday, they switched from take-out-only food services, two days before the requirement went into effect.

“Grades 1 and 8 have been the toughest so far,” said Chris Andrus, co-owner of Mitten Brewing.

Although this has been a tough year for business, Andrus feels particularly for his employees this time around.

“It’s a little more scary this time around because there is no unemployment benefit. There is no PPP. It’s a bit of an unfunded mandate. They’re shutting us down, with no recourse for our staff, ”Andrus said.

The two companies hope that the curve can be slowed enough in the coming weeks to allow them to reopen.

Long Road Distillers have been creative in their approach for the next few weeks. They offer Zoom happy hours where they will teach you how to prepare your favorite cocktails at home, with their kits, and also offer cocktails to take away.

Mitten Brewing also offers take-out services and hopes that as the holidays approach, people will think about supporting local businesses before big box stores.

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