By Amber Hayden
It’s been two months since Department of Health Services Secretary Designee Andrea Palm enacted the Safer at Home order that required the closing of several local businesses and taverns in and around Glenwood City and Boyceville on March 16.
But with the recent Supreme Court ruling stating that Palm’s actions were over stepping her authority, several taverns have decided to re-open while others will remain open for curbside pickup only.
Reopening or curbside pickup
Jamie Tilleson, owner of Buck Shot Bar, in Boyceville, stated the bar would remain open for curbside and takeout orders only, but patrons were welcome to use the outside space if they chose according to a Facebook post on Thursday, May 14.
Tillison stated in the post that they are as anxious as their customers to return to serving them in a safe environment, and would be contacting the local public health officials and licensing agencies to hear a clear directive and plan for a full reopening.
Aaron and Lisa’s Boondocks tavern reopened on Wednesday evening, May 13, after the order had been lifted.
“I was shaking I was so happy,” Aaron Moede said. “We will still be working to maintain the cleanest and safest environment possible.”
Boondocks is open for regular business hours, and Aaron and Lisa ask customers to practice proper hygiene. They also explained they would be sanitizing everything after customers leave a table or the bar.
Wood City Tavern in Glenwood City will also continue for curbside pickup and delivery, and are awaiting information from St. Croix County’s Health Department to explain the next steps moving forward. Wood City will reopen in its entirety when they feel they are able to implement procedures to insure everyone’s health and safety.
Papa’s Bar and Grill in Forest also reopened with regular business hours that began on Thursday at 3 p.m. and will continue with all safety measures and proper sanitation while providing service to customers.
Leaker’s Place will be open on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to close.
According to Kelli Engen, St. Croix County Public Health Administrator, public health officials are working on implementing a local plan.
“St. Croix County requests that you continue using safeguards as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and St. Croix County Public Health for social distancing, sanitizing, and masking in public settings to help protect yourself and others during this time,” Engen said.
The Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) has posted a re-opening checklist for businesses which includes a re-opening plan posted on their website www.wirestaurant.org.
“The WRA cautions restaurant operators to carefully open if they feel it is right for their business,” said Kristine Hillmer, President and CEO of the WRA. “Of paramount concern is the need to mitigate the risk of spread and build confidence in their customers.”
Local health departments are legally allowed to issue their own emergency order to continue Safer at Home provisions within their area, and businesses are urged to keep an eye on what’s going on in their county to ensure they are not in violation of local mandates, opening them up to fines and license revocation, according to the WRA.
The WRA asks restaurants to make the following commitments, Wisconsin Restaurant Promise, to protect their employees and customers:
• Continue to be a leader in food safety and sanitation practices where all of our team is trained in safe food handling practices and a Certified Food Protection Manager is scheduled for every shift.
• All staff will pass a health check or complete a health survey prior to each shift.
• All indoor and outdoor seating options will comply with the appropriate social distancing guidelines.
• Make hand sanitizer or hand washing stations available upon entry and exit.
• Clean and sanitize common areas regularly.
• Clean and sanitize all tables and chairs after every use.
• Place settings, utensils, menus, and condiments will either be single-use or will be cleaned and sanitized after every use.
• Post the Wisconsin Restaurant Promise at our entrances so everyone understands the steps we must all take to keep our communities safe.