The order limiting bars, restaurants, and other indoor places to 25 percent of capacity is back in place. It's the latest in a long line of coronavirus-related restrictions to be challenged in courts.
Black Forest Pub and Grille in Three Lakes has made a lot of changes this summer some based on orders, others of its own volition.
“Limited seating, we followed 50% capacity guidelines. We pulled bar chairs away from our bar area,” said owner and manager Health Biro. “Our staff were wearing masks at all times.”
From reduce capacity to menu alternatives to increased cleaning, Biro put in dozens of COVID-19 related health and safety guidelines in place. Most of which were beyond what was required after the Safer at Home order was lifted.
“Obviously our staff was concerned about the health issues that could come. So we wanted to make sure that they were in an environment where they felt comfortable and safe coming to work,” said Biro.
While some customers didn’t care about COVID-19, she wanted to create a safe of place as possible for those that were.
“We wanted to make sure they felt comfortable knowing that we were taking every precaution that was mandated or suggested or even beyond what was mandated or suggested just so they knew we were taking it seriously,” said Biro.
When the latest order limiting capacity went into effect, Biro said they made the change to go from 50%to 25% capacity which left them without about five tables in the dining room.
Biro said the lack of notice with the back and forth over COVID-19 restrictions was the most frustrating.
“That was really hard, that was one of the most challenging things,” said Biro.
Despite the challenges, Biro was pleasantly surprised with how business went this summer. The effort the restaurant put into to-go orders payed off.
“Our lost sales were made up on that side of the business and so our food sales actually exceeded last year’s food sales,” said Biro.
While unsure of what other changes and challenges may be ahead, Biro is keeping that positivity as we head into the winter months.
The Black Forest Pub and Grille is currently close for its annual fall respite. It will reopen on November 17th.