LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Many restaurants and bars make the decision to close – after staff get sick.

But one Lansing bar is thinking ahead and is taking a tentative two-week break to protect staff during the current surge.

Stober’s bar’s Facebook page claims to be the oldest bar in Lansing, dating back to 1933.

Since then, the service industry has seen a lot of changes and challenges. Most recently a staff shortage following a pandemic.

One employee told 6 NEWS that the decision to close wasn’t just to protect them, but also their family and friends.

“Thankfully our owners have their ears open and listened to their employees,” said Patrick Moriarty, Stober’s lead bartender.

Moriarty has been with Stober’s Bar for seven years. He says the last two have been difficult for the whole service industry.
“We’re trying to be responsible for our community. The owners are trying to be responsible for their employees, and I don’t know how you argue that,” he said.

Moriarty says the bar made the decision to close for two weeks as a team. During those two weeks, he says that employees will still get paid.

Customer reaction to the move has been positive.

As for what’s in store for the rest of the industry… Just Winslow with the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging association says he’s optimistic about the next year, but added the industry will need to move past this month’s COVID surge.

As for Moriarty, he’s looking forward to see serving up cold drinks again.

“We’ll be going back to live music, we will be checking temps at the door, masks are not required for patrons but are for employees and we’ll do what ever we can do keep our employees safe and our patrons safe.”

The bar is set to tentatively open on January 16, but Moriarty says that the bar will be constantly checking COVID case rates before re-opening.