Masked Romance

Restaurant attempting to operate with COVID-19 restrictions

Thomas A. Russo

Restaurant attempting to operate with COVID-19 restrictions

Micheal Brinker, writer

Valentines Day may not have seemed as normal as it used to be due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but love is still in the air as people are taking precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of others this Valentine’s Day.  

With Governor Whitmer’s recent order, restaurants are now able to operate at 25% of their normal capacity. This posed many challenges for both couples and businesses alike. With less seating available for reservations, but more people trying to share a meal with a significant other, restaurants struggled to keep up with the high demand for a nice night out. 

“It is a struggle to keep up with all the new restrictions,” said the well-known owner of Lipuma’s, Mr. Lipuma. “One day we can be working, and the next we have to close up again. I can’t imagine how nicer restaurants are holding up with the business of Valentine’s Day.” 

Mr. Lipuma is one of many business owners in the city of Rochester who has had to fight to keep his business alive through the pandemic. With the known risks of the coronavirus, many pose the question of whether it is more worth it to keep serving customers and keeping them happy, or stay safe and shut business down.

“Valentines Day did not feel the same this year,” said Adams junior Griffin Henke. “I went to the Royal Park Hotel for dinner, and their COVID

Restaurant providing safe dining for customers during COVID-19 pandemic (Johns Hopkins University)

guidelines made us sectioned off from everybody else, so it felt empty on the inside.” 

Restaurants must keep every other table closed off to keep up with current CDC social distancing guidelines, which is sure to make for some creative use of space to fit as many people as possible into a given area. 

Still, Valentine’s Day looked the closest it could to normalcy, with most couples still finding a restaurant to eat at and enjoy each other’s company with a nice meal, despite the uncertainty of COVID-19. As long as cases continue to decrease, this may be a first step in ending the pandemic for good, something Michiganders have been looking forward to for a long time.