89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Restaurant Owner Doesn't Plan To Reopen In February Even If Governor Gives Go-Ahead

Jan 13, 2021

Mani Osteria/Isalita outdoor patio
Credit Isalita / Facebook

Adam Baru, the owner of Isalita and Mani Osteria in downtown Ann Arbor, already had to close a third restaurant he owned, Mikette, due to the pandemic.  He talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about the challenges he has faced as an Ann Arbor restaurant owner during this global health crisis and his response to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's announcement that restaurants may be allowed to open with some restrictions on February 1st.


Ann Arbor restaurant owner Adam Baru
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Saying “the pause has worked,” to curb the number of COVID-19 cases, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the state is on the path to re-opening restaurants for inside dining the first of February.

However, not all Ann Arbor restaurants plan to take advantage of that option.

Ann Arbor restaurant owner Adam Baru has already had to close one of the three restaurants he owns due to the pandemic, Mikette.  But he says he does not think he will re-open the other two, Isalita and Mani Osteria, even if the governor gives the go-ahead for February 1st.

Baru says his gut tells him it’s not worth the risk or the necessary efforts to open restaurant doors to diners until it has been proven safer to do so.  He says he’s willing to wait another couple of months to fully reopen and return to pre-pandemic dining perhaps in a bit of a different way with lessons learned from offering mostly curbside dining these past few months.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu