As fall hits Lake Orion, residents are finally starting to see the dust settle around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While some local businesses find that they are no longer financially viable, some are simply finding their passions elsewhere.
Two local restaurants announced that they either already have, or are planning to, close their doors for good this month.
On Oct. 12, Big Wave Sushi closed their doors for good. With little other context, questions surrounding the closure flooded the restaurant’s Facebook page with many, including Trustee Brian Birney, surmising the closure was COVID-19 related.
A few days later, owners Lucas and Nicole Wortelboer addressed these questions/assumptions in a Facebook post.
“We did not go out of business due to lack of customer support,” the post read. “We just want to do something different. So, we bought a new camper and we are headed out west.”
The post also indicated that the two had attempted to sell the restaurant but were unable to find someone who could continue to run it without their help.
“I’m not going to try and translate their words of what ‘customer support’ means, but I’ve never seen a thriving business pack up and head west,” Birney wrote. “There is no doubt that the unconstitutional orders (Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders) have hurt many of our businesses and will unfortunately close them.”
However, Big Wave Sushi again reiterated that their closing was not due to financial reasons or COVID-19.
“We were doing great! I just want to move on. I grew up out west. Felt like going back. Life’s too short!”
A few days later, owners of Kruse & Muer Roadhouse on Lapeer Road announced they would be closing their doors as well.
“We have been proud to be a part of this community and are beyond thankful for the support and friendships we found here. This year has been tough for many, and while dealing with COVID-19 and the road construction in Lake Orion we were presented with an opportunity to sell this property to a longtime former team member, Darrel Sanrope and his wife, Kathy,” read a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, signed by Bill, Alex and Casey Kruse.
The Sanrope’s are expected to relocate their Port Huron restaurant, Darrel’s Steak & Seafood, to 803 S. Lapeer Road with a grand re-opening anticipated in late November or early December.
The closure of Kruse & Muer Roadhouse will be effective on Oct. 30.
— By Megan Kelley