Business owners frustrated city bans outdoor dining extension

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Bay City, Mich. (WNEM) – Local bar and restaurant owners are upset after city commissioners rejected a road closure extension that would have allowed outdoor dining on Bay City’s Midland Avenue.

“It was surprising that they decided not to extend us,” said Jay Samborn, owner of Lucky’s pub. “You know, at least for the rest of the summer. We still have a few winters left to enjoy here.”

As part of Feet on Street, streets in downtown Bay City were closed to traffic this winter for outdoor dining.

The Midland Street closure ended Monday. Samborn hopes to extend the closure of Midland Street on the west side until Oct. 15.

City Commissioner Jesse Dockett said he supports extending the day, but only on weekends.

1st Ward City Commissioner Jesse Dockett said, “We were expecting a lot of things to happen during the day and it really didn’t happen.”

Those who work for Lucky’s Pub argue that there is no level playing field between the city’s districts.

“The east side was allowed to stay open until October and we couldn’t do that,” said Elizabeth Schulz, manager of Lucky’s Pub.

“It puts us in a bit of a bind as other counties continue to close roads and allow customers to be outside,” Samborn said. “This will make all businesses suffer, not just restaurants and bars.”

Those on the Lucky’s Pub hope commissioners reconsider their position next year.

“We’ve got a lot of foot traffic on the sidewalks,” Schultz said. We’ve got a lot of people who want to go out, a lot of people who want to see a lot of bands.

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