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Brown Co. tavern owners react to state Supreme Court ruling

Bartenders at Richard Craniums wear masks after briefly opening after state Supreme Court ruling. The bar later closed after the Brown County Health Department reinstated the Governor's orders.
Bartenders at Richard Craniums wear masks after briefly opening after state Supreme Court ruling. The bar later closed after the Brown County Health Department reinstated the Governor's orders.(WBAY)
Published: May. 13, 2020 at 10:58 PM CDT
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Just hours after the state Supreme Court ruled Governor Evers’ administration over stepped its authority to extend the safer at home order, some Brown County taverns opened up fully to customers.

“They're all excited and nervous at the same time because this is something we thought was going to drag out to the point where our businesses were going to close; so this gives everyone a sense of hope,” said Don Mjelde, president of the Brown County Tavern League.

The excitement was short lived because later, the Brown County Health Department reinstated the Governor’s orders, forcing bars and restaurants to continue serving customers from a distance.

That’s why Tom Anderson, owner of Black Sheep Pub and Grill, waited to open up fully.

“My phone is going off, everybody wants to see if I'm open. I haven't decided that yet because, I would like to see what happens tomorrow with the legislature and the local government to see what their plans are,” said Anderson.

Anderson has been outspoken about the restrictions put on his business when others haven't had to close.

“I don't think certain businesses should have shut down to solve this problem when the big box offices were open,” said Anderson.

The Black Sheep’s business has been cut by 75 percent since the stay at home order took effect seven weeks ago, but Anderson says he will be ready to safely serve customers on or before May 20.

“We're ready to put tables six feet apart. If we're at capacity and we have a waiting line, we're going to go with the WEDC,” said Anderson.

Mjelde says he plans to work with the county health department on guidelines to allow taverns to open as soon as possible.

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