The typically loud and rambunctious crowds in East Lansing bars have been replaced with control and regulation, rendering a dramatic change in the bar scene since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Before [the pandemic], it was very laid back, it was a fun environment to make good money at,” said Lauren Dix, server at Beggar’s Banquet. “It’s just a little bit tenser and there are not as many people coming in.”
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced Michigan State University to end in-person classes, hundreds of students flocked to the local bars in East Lansing. Not long after, the lack of social distancing and mask-wearing at many bars and restaurants caused many of them to shut down or implement new rules in order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
Four months after the pandemic reached East Lansing, many bars and restaurants attempted to re-open after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order on June 1 that allowed them to begin conducting business again. Some were able to open successfully, relying on curbside pickup and takeout orders to make up for the revenue that they lost while being forced to close down but, others, however, were not as successful.
Courtesy of Lindsey YoakumLindsey Yoakum stretches during an outside yoga class
“Yoga has saved me,” is a common expression stated by yoga teachers and practitioners alike. “I’m a different person [because of it],” said Daniel Johnson, yoga practitioner. “I have this whole thread of joy that I never had before.”
Due to COVID-19 shutting down exercise facilities such as gyms and yoga studios, there is now a greater demand for different methods of exercise. That is why Citizen Yoga has curated alternative ways for yoga practitioners to enjoy an hour’s worth of peace and quiet with their Zoom classes and new, free outdoor yoga at Grand Circus Park in Detroit. The summer classes began June 21 and take place every Sunday at 7 p.m. through Aug.
Courtesy of Mandy TamboriniSpun Sugar Detroit’s mobile cotton candy cart
What do cotton candy, event planning, and bartending all have in common? Each of these is part of a larger movement that has gained a lot of traction this summer: mobile services. With COVID-19 limiting peoples’ opportunities to celebrate events and accomplishments at a restaurant or a bar, mobile service companies such as cotton candy company Spun Sugar Detroit, mobile bartending company Neat Pours Detroit, and event planning and design company Morgan Taylor’d Events are stepping up and taking over. Mandy Tamborini, owner of Spun Sugar Detroit, started her business at the end of 2016 and has been doing mobile cotton candy sales for events and parties since 2017. She has eight cotton candy carts, giving her the flexibility to attend all different kinds of events whenever she is booked.
Courtesy of Brandi OrrisEmma, Olivia and Jack Oriss’s masks
With summer halfway over, children are beginning to consider what life will be like if, when and how return to school. Jack Orris is not happy about having to wear a face mask while attending school. Orris, a seventh grader at St. Frances Cabrini Middle School in Allen Park, says that he does not like wearing face masks because they feel hot on his face. He is not alone.
Courtesy of Samuel MorykwasShoppers attend the Flower Day Market in Eastern Market
Eastern Market has been one of Detroit, Michigan’s most prominent tourist destinations for over 150 years. With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, the market has remained open, but with new safety measures implemented. Sam Morykwas, marketing manager for Eastern Market, explained that Eastern Market wanted to ensure the safety of its guests and to make sure that they were complying with the state and city’s safety initiatives. Eastern Market uses several safety measures to limit face-to-face interactions and to keep the vendors and guests safe. These measures include sanitizing services and handwashing stations for the staff and guests, a taped 6-by-6-foot grid for a visual guide to help maintain social distancing, no longer allowing sampling from vendors, contact-free payments, additional signs to encourage people to distance themselves, required masks upon entry, temporary fencing around the market and a north and south entry point into the shed to regulate the flow of traffic.
Courtesy of Zahra Saad of The Custard HutHot Waffle Sandwiches sold by The Custard Hut of Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Zahra Saad was startled by the reactions when she announced the opening of her business, the Custard Hut. “When we opened on April 10, I received multiple death threats, multiple threats on my business and actually had people calling the cops to try to shut me down, but we were allowed to be open,” said Saad. For many people, ice cream is the go-to staple of the summer. But during a global pandemic that limits face-to-face interaction and differing opinions by the public and business owners alike about when the appropriate time is to open a store, the sweet treat has undergone a lot of changes these past few months. Several Detroit ice cream stores were forced to close down because of the shelter in place order that was effective March 24.