Kewaunee County taverns quiet after safer-at-home ends; church makes plans to re-open
KEWAUNEE – Although people were able to pull up a stool at area taverns for the first time in almost two months Wednesday night after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the extension of the state's safer-at-home orders, that apparently didn't cause a mad rush to some establishments in Kewaunee County.
Houterville Station opened for business Wednesday night after the report of the court ruling came in. Judy Vandenhouten, president of the Kewaunee County Tavern League and owner of Houterville Station in rural Kewaunee, said her tavern had about half a dozen customers that night, and she's expecting about the same Thursday.
"Just the local regulars," she said. "I really believe even though people can go out, they're still very cautious. I don't think anybody's going crazy now."
Vandenhouten said her tavern will implement guidelines issued by the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She currently doesn't plan to erect shields around the bar and cash register, as suggested by the Tavern League of Wisconsin, but will have sanitizer available and ask customers to maintain social distancing.
"We're following the state with distances, having sanitizers," Vandenhouten said. "We don't wanna see anybody get sick."
Wednesday was relatively quiet in the bar at Algoma Pizza Bowl, too. Owner Angie Nelson saying the bar had 12 to 15 patrons on its first open night in almost two months, compared to the 20 or more it might get on a usual weeknight.
The dining area inside Algoma Pizza Bowl won't re-open yet, but the grill will continue to offer curbside pickup from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, as it has since safer-at-home was enacted in March. Nelson said they're opening the establishment's second entrance so customers will have separate doors for food pickup and the bar. The bowling alleys won't open yet because of Nelson's concerns over sanitizing bowling shoes, balls and other equipment.
Nelson said her place will maintain social distancing and employees will wear personal protective equipment. The business regularly cleans and sanitizes its fixtures and equipment, she said, and it will put out sanitizers for customers.
"I'm not doing this to upset people," she said. "I'm doing what I should be doing to open my business."
Church makes plans for in-person services
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Luxemburg has given drive-in services since safer-at-home went into effect, with families listening to services over the radio in their cars in the church parking lot. Pastor Dan Olson said the church will perform this Sunday's services as a drive-in, which he added have been "hugely successful," then switch to in-church services the following Sunday.
"We want to have a more orderly transition back into the church," Olson said. "To have all the things we need back into place this Sunday, I don't think it can be done."
Olson said the church will implement social distancing and other practices as best as it can. Families will be able to sit together in a pew but maintain distance from others, and instead of using hymnals that can be handled by numerous people, the texts of the services will be printed on paper.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee County taverns quiet after safer-at-home ends; church makes plans to re-open