Mickie’s Dairy Bar resumed in-person dining following a new emergency order easing COVID-19 health restrictions.
The iconic Madison-based diner reopened their doors for customers this past Thursday after a year of being unable to seat patrons indoors due to local ordinances severely restricting the ability of local restaurants to have in-person dining.
According to manager Shea Thongnuam, the decision to reopen was heavily influenced by the city government’s new emergency order, which significantly eases COVID restrictions on local bars and restaurants. The new order allows establishments to operate at 50% capacity, an increase from the 25% previously allowed.
The restaurant has also made several internal modifications to minimize the risk of COVID-19 and increase customer safety during the in-person dining experience.
"We installed a cool filtration system," Thongnuam said in an interview with madison.com. "We have social distancing, plenty of signage, fewer things on the table.... I want people to feel safe when they come in here."
Thongnuam, whose parents have owned the business for the past 30 years, stated that despite Mickie’s closure during this past year, there was never any consideration of permanently closing the historic restaurant which has been serving customers since the 1940s.
"We try to take the optimistic route," he said in an interview with WKOW. "How can we get through this, [rather] than how can we get out of this."
Thongnuam expressed his optimism about the future of Mickies Dairy Bar, stating that he believes students and local residents will begin to frequent the establishment again as restrictions continue to be eased by local officials.
“Will we get back to what we were pre-COVID, with fans from Badger football games wrapped around the corner? I think there's a very good chance,” Thongnuam said.
For more information and the full menu and hours of operation, visit Mickies Dairy Bar website.