The Michigan House Oversight Committee met with restaurant owners to discuss capacity limits for indoor service at bars and restaurants and the impacts it's having on the industry overall.
Under the state's current epidemic order, indoor capacity limits are currently capped at 25 percent and as of now, that order lasts through March 29.
Many owners are worried they won't last much longer under the state's current restrictions. Rick Revette owns Mulligan's Pub and Gatsby's Steakhouse in Bay City.
"It's killing the restaurant industry. At 25 percent we're still losing money,” Revette said.
He said the steady stream of state ordered COVID-19 restrictions has dried up revenue and damaged his bottom line.
"I'm fortunate to have some employees working but I still had to lay a lot of employees off. I had to cut hours," Revette said.
The state has extended 25 percent restaurant capacity and a 10 p.m. curfew to March 29. Meaning, Revette will miss out on St. Patrick's Day, his biggest event of the year, for the second consecutive time.
"Last year, I had to pour like seven and a half barrels of green beer down the drain,” Revette said. “I think that's why she extended it because she doesn't want us to be open for St. Patrick's Day. It's just terrible for everybody."
Revette isn't the only one speaking out about the extension of this state order. Brandon Hodgins is the co-owner of the Pale Blue Smoking Co. in Gladwin.
"It feels like our industry has been unfairly targeted as a source of massive spread of the virus," Hodgins said.
He spoke to lawmakers in Lansing about the struggle bars and restaurants are facing.
"The fact for us is rent and mortgage payments are still due at 100 percent," Hodgins said.
Hodgins said he has followed all the safety protocols mandated by the state and he takes COVID-19 seriously, but he said things can't stay the way they are.
"Many of us will not survive much longer, we might not see the summer," Hodgins said.
As for Revette, he has no plans to close. Revette can't understand why the state won't ease up on restrictions with COVID-19 cases going down.
"I just wish they'd go by the numbers, again. The numbers are way down and there's no reason we can't at least be back up to 50 percent," Revette said.