Harbor Shores offering private indoor dining in hotel suites

NOW: Harbor Shores offering private indoor dining in hotel suites

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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- The Inn at Harbor Shores is now offering a dine-in experience to customers through a loophole in how Michigan’s epidemic orders impact the hospitality industry.

While there are clear restrictions on dining in at restaurants and bars, there are no explicit guidelines prohibiting them from welcoming diners into hotel rooms.

With outdoor dining becoming less of an option given the weather, Harbor Shores found a way to make it happen.

“When the weather was fine everybody was able to sit in the patio, we invested in the heaters, but now that the weather’s changed we’ve had to pivot once again,” said general manager Brady Cohen.

13 suites were transformed into private dining spaces that up to six visitors – from no more than two households – can reserve for three hours and access the hotel restaurant’s full food and drink menu.

“You’re renting the room for 50 dollars and it allows us to provide food and beverages to you as a room service type dinner, it’s not in a dining room but we’re going to be able to give you the unique experience of having a private dining suite,” said Cohen.

It’s only possible by operating as if someone has ordered room service to their reserved hotel suite – which as of now, is not specifically banned in Michigan’s epidemic orders – which gave the Berrien County Health Department no reason to object.

“At first, they said ‘No, it’s not going to be allowed,’ so I had to explain the process to them and how exactly it worked and within 10 minutes they got back to me and said ‘You guys are approved, seems like you’re abiding by all the rules and it’s not considered indoor dining,’” said Cohen.

Harbor Shores hopes this new opportunity keeps people dining in Berrien County rather than driving down to Indiana.

“So many people are going across the state line and traveling 30 to 40 minutes to have dinner with their families, so we think we’ll be able to provide some kind of unique dining experience to our communities,” said Cohen.

The private dining experience officially starts Dec. 26 but you can reserve a suite now here.

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