Loyal customers show support despite indoor dining closures

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NILES, Mich. -- Indoor dining in Michigan is opening to 25% capacity on Monday. However, for some smaller businesses, 25% capacity can only mean anywhere from 2-5 people. Therefore, some business owners are choosing to stay closed. Even so, some customers in Niles continue to show their support.

They call themselves: the patio people. This tight knit group of friends have been starting their day with a cup of coffee at Brew Ha Ha for ten years now.

“We met inside at 6:30 in the morning before all of us went to work but now we are all retired, and we can stay kind of all day if we want to especially on a sunny day. Not today this is a half day,” says Jenny Kupfer, resident of Niles.   

The café, located in Niles, has been closed down for indoor dining for several months. But because of Brew Ha Ha’s drive thru windows and patio furniture, the closures never stopped the friends from enjoying their cup of joe…and supporting local.

“We have gotten really close in these last few months and gotten to know each other better. We are connected. We will be life long friends for sure because of this,” says Peggy Maiers, resident of Niles. “It’s part of my schedule when people can’t find me in the morning they say go to the Brew Ha Ha that is where she is.”

Through the isolation of the pandemic, these friends now find it even more important to make time for each other. And not even the chilly Michigan weather, can break their bonds.

“Is there any weather too cold”  

“No,” says Pat Ryder, resident of Niles. “We bundle up. I have got three or four layers on in here, so I keep warm.”

And for Brew Ha Ha owner, Joyce Bashara, these loyal customers…are family

“They are amazing they have been with me through thick and thin. My daughter’s graduation from high school and college and my husband’s passing. They truly are like family, and this is their outlet since they can’t really go places so they are outside safe. They get to see their friends this way, so they come every day,” says Bashara.  

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