Niles Restaurant looks to community for help during Michigan's latest epidemic order

NOW: Niles Restaurant looks to community for help during Michigan’s latest epidemic order


NILES, Mich. - The Iron Shoe Distillery in Niles, Michigan already knows what going without dining service is like after shutting it down for months when the pandemic first hit the State of Michigan. Owner Howard Tuthill said he is disappointed but not surprise by Governor Gretchen Whitmer's latest effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. He also said the potential loss of revenue is not what concerns him most.

"(I'm most concerned about) My staff, the servers." Tuthill said. "They're pretty much out of a job for the next three weeks. It's going to hurt them the most."

Tuthill said he plans to keep the restaurant going through takeout and online orders, but said he is most disappointed about what this three-week closure means for the upcoming holiday.

"The Thanksgiving Holiday, the days leading up to that are usually pretty big days for us at the restaurant and in the distillery," Tuthill said. "Obviously. we're not going to be able to take advantage of that."

Governor Whitmer said these next few weeks mark the most trying times of the pandemic yet in Michigan. Sunday, she called for unity.

"I'm asking that we join forces again because as hard as hard as those first months were for our state, these next few are going to be even harder," Whitmer said.

Tuthill said that kind of joining forces is exactly what happened when the restaurant closed the first time, and it's why he has a sense of optimism going into at least three weeks without dine-in service.

"There was a really great response and push from the community to help out us and other restaurants," Tuthill said. "So, that really carried us, and hopefully, we'll see that same response and enthusiasm over the next three weeks."

Restaurants will still be able to continue outdoor dining service during the new epidemic order, but Tuthill said the Iron Shoe will be sustained through carry out and online orders during these three weeks.

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