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Wauwatosa restaurant owner says he won't follow the extension of 'Safer at Home' order

Posted at 10:27 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 21:09:10-04

WAUWATOSA-- The owner of a local bar and restaurant does not plan to abide by the extension of a statewide 'Safer at Home' order, intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dan Zierath owns Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub on Bluemound Road in Wauwatosa. He said that he plans to open the dining room of his restaurant to customers on May 1st. Governor Tony Evers announced Thursday that he was extending Wisconsin's Safer at Home order until May 26.

"I'm just speaking for small businesses in general," Zierath said. "The mortality rate of this virus right now just does not justify shutting down our entire economy," he said.

As of Sunday, the virus has taken the life of 220 people across the state, with more than half of those deaths in Milwaukee County.

Zierath said he was inspired by hundreds of people who gathered in Brookfield on Saturday to protest the extension of the order.

"A lot of people there in support of the way I feel, and to be honest with you that’s what prompted my decision," Zierath said.

Zierath was approved for a small business loan but he hasn't seen any money arrive yet. He has more than 100 employees throughout the three other restaurants he owns. Those other businesses are still abiding by the order.

However, Zierath said he's taking precautions for when he plans to open. The typical capacity of the building sits at 120-persons, but he will only allow about 40 customers in to ensure a safe experience. Those customers will have to sanitize and fill out a questionnaire at the door. Tables will be spaced more than six feet apart. Staff will wear gloves and masks.

"If you don’t agree with me, don’t come to my restaurant," Zierath said. "If you do, come there and I can assure you you will be safe."

Wauwatosa Police say if this does occur, police would address the specific situation at the time.

Zierath says his Wauwatosa restaurant is not affiliated with Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub in Downtown Milwaukee.

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