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


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.

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

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.

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— 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

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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