Back in business: Ernie’s Irish Pub prepares for a safe time for customers and staff

U.S. & World

ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) — Friday, Upper Peninsula bars and restaurants will reopen their doors for business. A pub in Escanaba will be doing everything they can to ensure the safety its customer’s and staff.

After 70 days of being closed, Ernie’s Irish Pub in Escanaba will be opening their doors again.

“When the governor told us that we had to close, it was scary,” said Dan Hackleman, Owner, Ernie’s Irish Pub.

“We’ve been here for 12 years, since 2008, and when we were told we have to close, it was a scary day and so, scary days bring happen days and that’s going to start now.”

Governor Whitmer’s order came just before St. Patricks Day, one of the busiest days of the year for an Irish Pub like Ernie’s. But, Hackleman respected the Governor’s ruling and closed down.

With a small staff of 9 employees, Dan stayed in touch with his team through group texts to keep them in the loop of when re-opening may be a possibility.

“When I had sent them a message out that we we’re going to re-open, they we’re all ecstatic to get back to work, get back to normal. Somewhat normal, the new normal they call it.”

As a way to ensure their customers and staff’s safety, Ernie’s customers will be given a plastic cup that will be refilled every order.

They have and will be cleaning the entire establishment with a high grade disinfectant every hour and will be cutting their 150 maximum capacity in half, as well as spacing chairs and tables 6 feet apart.

The pub will also not host live music events or have an in-house DJ, so their customer’s can enjoy their beverage and stick to the social distancing requirements.

Hackleman and his staff have also installed automatic hand sanitizing stations around the pub, along with having bottles of hand sanitizer at the bar.

“We’re going to do our best to keep you (the customer) as safe and if you guys do your best to keep our employees safe everything should stay the way it should be. If not, then we worry about being closed again, so we are just doing our best.”

Doors at Ernie’s Irish Pub will re-open Friday at 11 am.

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