News of a 4-3 decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court striking down Gov. Tony Evers' safer-at-home order spread rapidly through the state Wednesday night, resulting in some bars in Superior opening up to customers.
Gronk’s Bar & Grill Owner Mike Mohr said he got an email from the Tavern League of Wisconsin saying they could open immediately.
“My first thought was, we’re not ready,” Mohr said, adding their stocks were low and staff was minimal.
But after getting confirmation from a friend who called law enforcement to make sure there wouldn’t be any consequences, the lights turned on and the stools came off the bar for the first time since St. Patrick’s Day.
Mohr said his opening would be slow to start because they just aren’t ready for a full house yet. The story over at Izzy’s BBQ Lounge and Grill was slightly different.
“If it’s busy enough I’ll be open until 2 a.m.” owner Isadore Turner II said Wednesday night.
Turner learned about the ruling when the News Tribune called him, and once he got confirmation he wouldn’t get bothered by law enforcement, he opened up for business too. Turner, who has been offering curbside orders, said he plans to be fully operational Thursday, starting at 10 a.m.
“Bring everybody,” he said. “Bring your friends.”
Not every bar in Superior reopened immediately Wednesday night. For Dodgie’s East End Tavern owner Mike Dodge, it was simply because he just isn’t ready.
“All of this happened so quickly that we’re just not prepared to open (Wednesday night),” he said. “I don’t even have staff available.”
Dodge said he had planned to meet with his staff next week to discuss precautions they’ll be taking to keep everyone safe once they opened after the safer-at-home order expired May 26, but that timeline has moved up drastically. Dodge said he’s hoping to open Thursday.
To his customers, Dodge said, “There will be rules and regulations when you come in, so just be respectful of everyone and stay safe.”
Making sure customers and employees are safe is also the number one priority for Birds Bar owner Kim Moore. She said the bar will reopen but it won’t be Thursday, as she wants to make sure she can do it safely.
“We do have some off-sale, but the business is hanging on by a thread,” Moore said. “So we will open with caution and (Thursday) I'll be reviewing the safety precautions put out by the governor, making posters and posting them, separating chairs and putting hand sanitizer everywhere. So we have some work to do before we open.”