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Michigan restaurant unable to open at full capacity, despite restrictions lifting next week

Sidelines Italian Grille general manager Jodi Vandenroek says the establishment needs to hire more cooks to keep up with the influx of customers.

LAMBERTVILLE, Mich. — Excitement is brewing for some Michigan businesses as the state returns back to full capacity next week. 

But we found one local restaurant that can't fully reopen because of a problem we're also seeing in Ohio.

"Tongue-in-cheek, killer. Horrible. Horrible for everybody. It's affected everybody around the world," said Larry Lammers, a customer dining indoors at Sidelines Italian Grille in Lambertville. 

Michigan will once again reopen to full capacity on Tuesday

It means more customers should be able to head out to places like Sidelines Italian Grille, but it's not fully the case for the establishment. 

"We're really excited about that to a degree because like a lot of businesses and restaurants, we don't have a full staff. The front of our house with our waitresses and our hostesses, we're pretty good in that area. But our back of the house with our cooks, we're a little short there," said Jodi Vandenroek, the general manager at Sidelines Italian Grille. 

Which can make things difficult if the restaurant opens all the way.  

This is why Sidelines decided to take things slowly. 

"Not right away, no. We are going to open a couple of tables here and there to give the girls more opportunities to make more money. But we cannot, at this time, open all of our tables up," said Vandenroek. 

The general manager says it just wouldn't be fair to employees like longtime server Kelly Hotaling. 

"It's amazing. It really is. It's gonna be back to normal soon. We're really happy. You know, we didn't know when we'd see this time come but it's not far away now," said Hotaling. 

The full reopening means it's a countdown for everyone from the managers like Vandenroek, to the staff like Hotaling.

"We get to see more faces, and I miss the crazy Friday, Saturday nights where we're running around all over the place, 'cause it's just busy," said Vandenroek. 

"To get all of our customers back like we had them and people not be so afraid to come back in and see us, and just keep going forward from here and hope it doesn't happen again," said Hotaling. 

"I think the economy will bounce right back. Well, it's extraordinary. You're talking about thousands of people that have been outed and need get to get back to the real world," said Lammers. 

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