Dowagiac restaurants rely on alternative service options to make ends meet

DOWAGIAC — The COVID-19 pandemic has done a number on small businesses throughout the state of Michigan.

In an effort to combat the rising COVID-19 cases statewide, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order to take place for three weeks, beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18, to limit indoor social gatherings and other group activities. Among the list of restrictions is a three-week closure of dine-in services at restaurants.

Nearly 4,000 Michigan restaurants are at risk of permanent closure, according to the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association. That outcome is a reality that Dowagiac-area restaurant owners are desperately trying to avoid.

“Six thousand Michigan restaurants and bars have gone out of business since March, according to the MRLA,” said Wounded Minnow owner Kyle Belew. “In the next two weeks, 2,000 more are projected to close. It’s a scary situation.”

The Wounded Minnow offers carryout and delivery options for patrons.

“Our specials change day to day,” Belew said. “We’ve mixed things up. We changed our menu and are doing a better job with delivery to businesses or residents. Beer, wine and cocktails are also available to go.”

Belew has been in the restaurant business for 25 years and has never been pushed to the brink like he has during the pandemic. He encourages community members to forego dining in at Indiana eateries and fast food chains and to explore what local restaurants have to offer.

“If this is extended to a six-week shutdown, small businesses are in big trouble,” Belew said. “If this extends through the first of the New Year, I’m not sure if I will stay open. This is a great time for long-term residents to re-familiarize themselves with downtown. The stores have to prosper, or other businesses won’t. It’s important for people to remember that small businesses are the glue that keeps communities together.”

Below is a list of Dowagiac area restaurants offering takeout, curbside pickup and delivery options during the restriction period. Holiday hours may differ:

The Wounded Minnow Saloon, 236 S. Front St., Dowagiac, is open Monday to Saturday 11:30 to 9 p.m.; Sunday noon to 8 p.m., offering carry out, curbside pickup and delivery.

Mr. Wahoo’s Eatery, 56051 M 51 S., Dowagiac, is open Monday to Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., offering to-go orders.

Mimi Sarducci’s, 203 N. Front St., Dowagiac, is open Tuesday to Friday 10:30 a.m. 8 p.m., offering takeout and delivery.

Caruso’s Candy and Soda Shop, 130 S. Front St., Dowagiac, is open Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering takeout.

Taqueria Del Rey Food Truck, 105 Sheldon St., Dowagiac, is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering takeout.

Saylor’s Front Street Pizzeria, 128 S. Front St., Dowagiac, is open Monday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., offering takeout and delivery.

Railway Cafe, 109 W. Railroad St., Dowagiac, is open Mondays and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering curbside pickup.

China Garden, 114 S. Front St., Dowagiac, is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., offering takeout.

La Casa de Maria, 724 N. Front St., Dowagiac, is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., offering curbside pickup and delivery.

Sister Lakes Brewing Company, 92500 County Road. 690, Dowagiac, is open Wednesdays and Thursdays 4 to 8 p.m.; Friday 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturday noon to 8 p.m.; Sunday noon to 7 p.m., offering carryout and to-go orders.

The Strand Brewery and Restaurant, 93415 County Road 690, Dowagiac, is open Thursdays 4 to 11 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., offering takeout.

Dockside Dan’s Restaurant & Bar, 94376 County Road. 690, Dowagiac, is open Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 2 to 9 p.m.; Sundays from 2 to 8 p.m., offering takeout.

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