BAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) – Local bar and restaurant owners are disappointed after city commissioners denied a road closure extension that allows outdoor dining on Midland Street in Bay City.
“It was very surprising that they decided not to extend us,” Lucky’s Pub Owner Jay Samborn said. “You know, at least through the rest of the summer. We still got some summer left here to have fun with.”
As part of Feet on the Street, roads throughout downtown Bay City were closed to traffic this summer to allow for outdoor dining.
Midland Street’s closure ended on Monday. Samborn hoped to extend the Midland Street closure on the west side until Oct. 15.
City Commissioner Jesse Dockett said he would support extending the date but only for weekends.
“We were expecting a ton of stuff to happen during the day and it just never really materialized,” 1st Ward City Commissioner Jesse Dockett said.
Those who work for Lucky’s Pub argue there isn’t a level playing field among the city’s districts.
“The east side is allowed to keep theirs open, open until October and we are unable to do that,” Lucky’s Pub Manager Elizabeth Schulz said.
“There’s still other districts that are continuing to have the street closures and allowing their customers to be outside puts us at a little bit of a disadvantage,” Samborn said. “Which causes all businesses to suffer, not just the restaurants and bars.”
Those at Lucky’s Pub hope commissioners reconsider their stance next year.
“We gained a significant amount of foot traffic with the Feet on the Street than we did beforehand,” Schultz said. We’ve gotten more people wanting to come outside, wanting to see more bands, more entertainment.”
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