Wisconsin Judge Reimposes Gov. Evers’ 25 Percent Capacity Limit for Indoor Places

While some business owners in Superior weren't happy with the order, "I think it's a good idea," said the owner of Thirsty Pagan Brewing.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Once again a 25 percent capacity restriction on indoor public places in Wisconsin is back in effect Monday, reimposed by a Wisconsin judge.

Governor Tony Evers issued the order on Oct. 6th, amid a surge of coronavirus cases across the state. More action must be done, he said, to avoid overwhelming Wisconsin’s healthcare systems.

About a week later it was blocked by a judge due to a lawsuit by the Tavern League of Wisconsin, who called it a “de facto closure” for the bars and restaurants they represent.

Now, a Barron County judge declined to put the order on hold while the lawsuit is pending.

Some businesses in Superior weren’t happy with the order when it was introduced. However for Thirsty Pagan Brewing on Winter Street, it wasn’t much of a change from the summer.

“We were already at 25% and so having that be mandated is not a big deal for us,” owner Steve Knauss said, adding it was a decision made by him and his staff.

“That was something we thought was proactive and safe and being responsible — being socially responsible,” he said.

Knauss said he acknowledges the difficulty of outdoor seating in the winter, part of the reason why many other neighboring establishments saw the order as potential doom in the cold months ahead.

“We often get the wind off the lake so it’s very difficult to have outdoor dining so close to the lake,” said the owner.

Thirsty Pagan Brewing’s outdoor tent and seats will be taken down at the end of October. Bonfires and chairs will remain available.

Still, Knauss is confident that continuing safely with less people packed inside is a safe way to operate.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “This is not something that’s gonna be short term this is something, this is something that is gonna be here for a least another year and it’s scary.”

The order is set to last until Nov. 6th.

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