Late Sunday night, Tavern League of Wisconsin president Chris Marsicano issued a statement that calls on Gov. Tony Evers to reopen the state’s taverns, restaurants, and supper clubs on May 1. This despite warnings from top health officials that “reopening” states too quickly could backfire.

Evers’ “Safer At Home” order—enacted March 25 in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and extended a few weeks later—expires May 26, “or until a superseding order is issued.”

Dr. Marsicano allows for some “important steps to protect the safety of employees and customers,” however, including masked and gloved employees, social distancing, reduced capacities, and the elimination of paper menus and table condiments. Also: no salad bars, folks.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin includes more than 5,000 members. Marsicano is also the owner of the Village Supper Club in Delavan. Here’s his statement:

On May 26th, when the current Stay at Home Order ends, the challenges facing Wisconsin in fighting the Coronavirus will essentially be the same as they are today, with no vaccine available. According to experts, a vaccine will not be widely available for 12 to 18 months. Wisconsinites cannot live under a Stay at Home Order for the next 12 to 18 months.

The safety of our customers and employees is the most important factor moving forward. Without protecting their safety, we have no viable business. Today, many businesses are open and safely serving the public. We can learn from those businesses and create a responsible, safe model for a soft reopening of Wisconsin’s taverns, restaurants and supper clubs on May 1st.

We urge Governor Evers to adopt a responsible Safe at Work policy for Wisconsin’s hospitality industry and customers. Let’s work together to reopen Wisconsin’s taverns, restaurants and supper clubs while taking the important steps to protect the safety of employees and customers.

· Effective May 1st

· All employees required to wear masks and gloves

· Practice social distancing of 6 feet

· All tables 6 feet apart

· No tables of more than 6 people

· Reduce on premise capacity by 50%

· Outdoor eating and drinking with 6 feet distancing permitted

· No salad bars or self-serve buffets

· Eliminate paper menus

· Eliminate all table condiments

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.