Battle Creek restaurants reopen for indoor service at 25% capacity

The best thing about restaurants in Michigan opening up again for dine-in service, according to Battle Creek’s Mike Barrix, is that he will get to save some gas money. “We were driving to Indiana to eat out. Couldn’t eat out around here, so we were going to Indiana and gave […]

The best thing about restaurants in Michigan opening up again for dine-in service, according to Battle Creek’s Mike Barrix, is that he will get to save some gas money.

“We were driving to Indiana to eat out. Couldn’t eat out around here, so we were going to Indiana and gave them our money,” said Barrix, as he sat down for lunch with his wife, Julia, at the Griffin Grill & Pub in downtown Battle Creek on Monday. “We were so ready for this. Ready for restaurants to open up around here. All we could do before was go to work and come home. We have waited months for this. It’s here finally. It feels good to be out.”

After indoor dining service in Michigan was ordered shut down in mid-November, the restrictions were lifted as of Monday.

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While the reopening comes with a limit of 25% capacity for establishments, local restaurant owners were excited to welcome back their customers.

Griffin owner Paul Conkey was asked if Monday was a great day for restaurants around the state.

Mike and Julia Barrix sit down for lunch at Griffin Grill & Pub on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021 in Battle Creek, Mich. Indoor dining is now permitted in Michigan with restrictions, such as operating at 25% capacity and following a 10 p.m. curfew.

“I don’t know if it’s a great day. It’s a better day, I’ll say that. A great day would be if we were allowed to be wide open,” Conkey said. “But we were looking forward to this. We’re excited about this. We are looking forward, not backwards. Just excited to see our people back inside and enjoying what we have to offer.”

MORE: Bill’s Best: Enquirer picks the best restaurants of 2020

One new Battle Creek-area restaurant was getting a chance to offer dine-in service for the very first time. WACO Kitchen opened its doors a little more than a month ago, right in the middle of the restaurant restrictions imposed by the state. WACO has been offering takeout only ever since, but the small farm-to-table restaurant in the airport district, with views of local planes landing and taking off, was eager to show off its full dining experience.

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