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Some Milwaukee bars, restaurants reopen as others refuse

NOW: Some Milwaukee bars, restaurants reopen as others refuse

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- For the first time in months, people are able to sit down and eat at restaurants and drink at bars in Milwaukee after phase three of reopening started Friday, June 5.

Mayor Tom Barrett made the announcement Thursday allowing them to reopen at 25-percent capacity, but some owners say they’re upset at how the city went about it.

Daniel Jacobs, chef and co-owner of the American-Chinese restaurant DanDan in the Historic Third Ward, says they got no communication from the city. They also didn’t get guidelines on how to maintain health and safety amid the pandemic.

“We did not, we did not. The city does have our emails, does have the ability to contact us, but they didn’t,” Jacobs said.

However, others are braving the uncertainty. 

Steny's Tavern and Grill in Walker's Point has decided to reopen, but they are taking precautions to stay safe. Both employees and customers will have their temperatures taken and anyone with a high temperature won't be allowed inside. They are also only allowing customers to sit at every other table. They've also added extra doormen.

Meantime, some customers say they won't dine-in for a variety of reasons. “I think it’s a bad idea and I’m definitely not going to go. I feel like I could still get sick really easily. I don’t think places are ready,” Joshua Gilane said.

On social media, more than two dozen businesses expressed thier concerns over the rash decision saying opening at this moment could be a distraction to more important matters happening in the city.

“It’s just not the right time, this really kinda takes away from the importance of what the protests are about,” Jacobs added.

Others agree, including bartender Gen Longoria. "I just don’t think we’re ready. I also think it’s a little bit of a distraction. There’s so many bigger issues that we have right now.” Longoria said. 

CBS 58 asked Barrett about moving to phase 3. He says, "It has absolutely nothing to do with what we’re experiencing right now.”


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