By: - March 11, 2021 12:03 pm

Cafe Rosetta | Todd Heywood

The recalcitrant cafe in Calumet that has been the source of protest and conflict as well as court actions has been authorized to open its doors again. On Thursday, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Wanda Stokes dissolved a Jan. 22 injunction. 

No date for a reopening of the Upper Peninsula restaurant has been announced, WLUC-TV reports

Under the agreement and COVID protocols agreed to by cafe owner Amy Heikkinen, employees will be required to wear face masks. Those with medical conditions prohibiting the masks will be required to wear face shields. In addition, employees will be subjected to COVID exposure screening before the start of each shift. 

Cafe Rosetta will require all entering the business to wear masks. It has specifically agreed not to presume a person without a mask has a medical condition preventing wearing one and is required to inquire. The cafe also will be required to place barriers between the point of sale and customers, as well as provide personal protection equipment such as masks and face shields to employees and staff. 

The restaurant will have limited indoor dining available, set at eight people, according to the agreements released by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), which issues food licenses. The eatery also will be required to keep an accurate list of visitors who dine in, including name, address and telephone number and to use a no-contact point of sales system to help stop the spread of COVID. In addition, the cafe will be allowed to offer online-ordered to-go sales. 

In the event of a confirmed coronavirus case linked to the cafe, it will shut immediately for 24 to 48 hours in order to perform a deep cleaning and will work with local health officials to identify those who may have been exposed while visiting. 

The legal action comes after months of controversy and resistance. Heikkenen and her brother, Jake, who own the business had been refusing to follow pandemic orders issued in mid-November last year. The business was hit with a series of administrative actions by local health officials, then by MDARD in an attempt to bring the business into compliance. When the business continued to flout the orders, MDARD took the business to Ingham County Circuit Court in late December. 

A temporary restraining order was issued against the cafe prohibiting it from continuing operations as MDARD had suspended its food license. Despite the order, the cafe continued to operate. The Circuit Court issued two separate contempt of court rulings against the cafe — first on Jan. 22 and again on Feb. 12. The business paid $7,500 for the first contempt finding and $2,500 for the second. 

Stokes permanently ordered the cafe to operate only with a valid food license. 

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Todd A. Heywood
Todd A. Heywood

Todd Heywood is an award-winning journalist with over 30 years of experience. He's worked in print, online, radio and television. His reporting has been cited by the U.S. House of Representatives as well as in the United Nations reports on HIV. He's an avid vintage Star Wars collector and lives in Lansing with his three dogs.

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