Bay County Scanner Feed

Live Public Safety Communications from Bay City, Michigan and Surrounding Areas
Text Size

Small changes in Bay City, intended to make a big difference. Center Avenue at Washington Avenue and Saginaw Street and Saginaw Street at Center Avenue and Fifth Street are now closed off to traffic. The City is now allowing restaurants to seat people on those streets to keep them safe and hopefully, encourage some extra business. Potentially the most normal a Friday night’s looked since about mid-March. “It’s been three long months,” related Hayley Jacobs, sitting down for a beer flight at Tavern 101. “I love coming here… I’m very excited (laughs).” Dozens of diners, soaking in the sunshine and a thoroughly revamped outdoor experience. “It’s really nice to be out again,” said Jacobs. “It’s nice to see that Bay City is working with the downtown.” “I think it’s easing people’s minds,” echoed another diner. Crews began putting up these bright orange barricades this morning, giving Bay City’s long-shuttered crop of restaurants more outdoor real estate to drive those COVID era capacity caps. Kurt Busard operates several downtown restaurants, including Tavern 101 and Old City Hall. “This actually gives us the opportunity to kind of make a profit,” explained Busard. “We’re 50 percent capacity, so now it enables us to get more seats in the building.” Even some of the restaurants beyond the barricades have extended their seating, pushing tables to the edges of their street parking areas. Diners find tables spaced six feet apart, pushed all the way to the curb and beyond. “Because the tables are so far apart, I don’t feel like it’s not safe anymore,” explained Kathleen Morand, pulling up a seat at Tavern 101. While inside, diners find a world transformed by many of the same safety precautions. Notably, a dining area with a lot more breathing room. “We do wear masks,” began Busard, explaining some of his team’s safety procedures. “We wear gloves for service… forehead scan temperature. It then produces a badge like you see I’m wearing here.” “I feel safe being here,” related Jacobs. “I know that our downtown restaurants are taking every precaution necessary to keep their patrons safe.” Despite fears of a wary public, demand thus far, says Busard, has been encouraging. The barricades might mean a leg up. Bay City’s road closures will remain in effect through November.

Read more