As northern Michigan restaurants and bars reopen under occupancy limits and other restrictions, business leaders and city officials are considering ways to expand the footprint of existing restaurants to help boost revenue.

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Bars and restaurants that want to open outdoor service areas can now take advantage of a streamlined permitting process through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. 

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The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has returned nearly $3.4 million to licensees as part of a liquor buyback program to support bars and restaurants during the state-mandated closure to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

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KALAMAZOO — Southwest Michigan biosciences company Native Traits Corp. plans to use a recent investment to move its high-yield and weather-resistant seed technology into field testing and production.

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GRAND RAPIDS — In March, organizers at the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids were preparing for their biannual soup-tasting fundraiser. Usually, vendors and West Michigan restaurants donate soups for the event. Hundreds of people gather to taste food from the cooler weather season, catch up with one another and support the market.

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THREE OAKS — Other than the early days of launching Journeyman Distillery LLC, founder Bill Welter cannot recall a more difficult business environment than the present.

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The trade association representing Michigan restaurants issued guidelines and a checklist today for reopening.

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MUSKEGON — The line was 15 cars long on a recent Thursday evening, with employees shuffling between vehicles and the retail shop to scan IDs and run products out to patrons.

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MUSKEGON — As one of the only restaurants open in downtown Muskegon, Topshelf Liquor Bar & Pizza owner Jim Noel is sticking to a formula he knows well. 

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STEVENSVILLE — Peat’s Cider Social had been open for less than two weeks when co-founder Dan Peat began hearing about a highly infectious virus that was starting to affect various parts of the country. 

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