Wednesday, October 28, 2020

East Lansing bars to reopen, no lines allowed

October 14, 2020
<p>Rick’s American Cafe photographed on Aug. 12. </p>

Rick’s American Cafe photographed on Aug. 12.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Rick's American Cafe and other bars in East Lansing are preparing to open up their doors to customers for the first time since March.

Bars are able to reopen after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's COVID-19 orders were unconstitutional.

The Wednesday night opening at Rick's will include the LineLeap app, which allows guests to reserve an arrival time for the night.

All arrival reservations for Wednesday night sold out within three minutes, according to LineLeap.

After downloading the app, customers can select Rick's East Lansing and their 30-minute timeslot, then show their pass at the door. Reservation slots go live at 10 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Arrival time reservations are all $5, and for $15 the party may arrive at any time. The app is also offering a free Truly drink per person under the reservation pass. Tables sit four to six people, and groups can remain at the bar as long as they'd like.

The Riv will be opening on Thursday at 4 p.m., also using the LineLeap app for reservations using the same instructions.

With this reopening, Rick's followed up with an Instagram post reminding that there will be no lines and reservation times may open up throughout the night.

Rick's did not respond to virtual or in-person requests to comment.

Michigan bars and restaurants completely closed in March. Some bars in East Lansing decided to reopen in June after restaurants and bars were allowed to open at limited capacity.

Harper's Restaurant and Brewpub received attention after their June reopening was linked to a COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in around 188 cases linked to the bar.

Bars in East Lansing, including Dublin Square and Lou and Harry's, decided to temporarily close indoor seating after the outbreak as well, prior to Whitmer's order closing bars for indoor seating again.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission ordered a hearing with Harper's after the outbreak to discuss what went wrong in their COVID-19 reopening plans.

Harper's has since been allowed to reopen by the Ingham County Health Department. They did not respond to comment on when they plan to reopen.

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