Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Restaurants must work to survive pandemic

By TOM LAVENTURE

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IRONWOOD - Whether on the highway or downtown, restaurant owners say the pandemic continues to challenge them.

Debra Federico, owner of Mike's Restaurant on U.S. 2, said she decided back in May 2020 to stay closed for indoor dining until a vaccine was developed and it would be safe and feasible for the small dining room to open. They constructed a takeout window in the interim and reopened in February with the vaccine rollout moving forward.

"It's been a year and for a lot of us it was either now or never," Federico said.

There were lean months, s...