Eau Claire businesses react after judge reinstates Wisconsin’s 25% capacity limit

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 8:48 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - On Monday Governor Evers' emergency order limiting some businesses to 25% capacity went back into effect after after a Barron County judge denied a motion for an injunction blocking the order.

In Eau Claire, Galloway Grille manager Ben Schroeder says this restriction is devastating for his business.

Galloway Grille has a capacity of 100, which means now, only 25 people can be inside at once. The restaurant has already closed some tables off for social distancing.

“It is going to be challenging because we are a smaller restaurant and we have already been struggling and we are trying to figure out how we are going to make sure that is possible and make a profit and stay open honestly,” Schroeder says.

Schroeder says he is concerned about the restaurant’s profit and continuing to pay employees.

Down the road at Mousetrap Tavern, bartender Breana Prock relies on tips, and with the 25% capacity limit, tips are sparse.

“I know a lot of us have had to pick up second jobs to try and stay afloat,” Prock says. “I understand the safety and we want everyone to remain healthy and safe which is why we are following the precautions. It is just a hard time for everyone.”

Prock says even without the restrictions, the bar has not been back at full capacity since the shut down earlier this year.

Schroeder hopes the 25% capacity limit does not last too long.

“I hope eventually we can work together to find a great solution that works for restaurants, The Tavern League and the government and to keep everyone safe,” he says. “It would be nice to find a compromise for everyone.”

Schroeder says through the winter months, community members can support businesses like Galloway Grille by ordering take out.

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