Corona Chronicles: Wisconsin Opens Businesses (Restaurants, Bars)

May 14, 2020–After the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state’s stay-at-home order, which immediately lifted restrictions on businesses and gatherings, some bars opened their doors Wednesday night.

a group of people sitting at a table: State Street Pub in Green Bay quickly opened for business Wednesday, May 13, 2020, after the state Supreme Court overturned Gov. Tony Evers' safer-at-home order.

The ruling applied to Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide order to lock down Wisconsin amid the public health emergency of the coronavirus pandemic. Evers intended to keep the order in place until May 26.

Photos showed small gatherings of Wisconsinites out at bars and restaurants shortly after the ruling came down, while some establishments posted on social media they were staying closed.

However, some are still extending their own stay-at-home orders, meaning not all businesses in the state may immediately open.

Local officials can put their own limits in place, and rules could vary significantly from one community to the next.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett quickly declared that the city’s stay-at-home order is still in place. Dane County, where Madison is located, and Brown County, which includes Green Bay, also issued stay-at-home orders.

While still under local stay-at-home orders, some bars and restaurant in Milwaukee said they were remaining closed regardless of the ruling.