BEAVER DAM, Wis. (WITI/CBS Newspath) — Despite the extension of Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order until May 26, one Dodge County bar reopened on Saturday, May 9 — more than two weeks before the order is set to expire.
Near State Road 33 and Thompson in Beaver Dam, the rumble of motorcycles once again filled the parking lot of 6th Gear Bar.
“I gave it eight weeks, as long as I could,” said the bar’s owner, Joel Posthuma. “We need to send a message to Evers.”
Posthuma tells FOX6 News that he will no longer be following the state’s extended order. Instead, he reopened to customers on Saturday.
“You can’t sit high on your throne and not do anything,” Posthuma said. “That’s why I decided this has got to be done. Obviously, plus the account’s broke.”
Customers gathered at 6th Gear Bar in Beaver Dam
“Don’t get me wrong, we are trying to promote social distancing,” said Posthuma. “We plan on staying open.”
Customer Lindsay Wietzke said she does not feel concerned with the lack of space among bargoers: “You shouldn’t put yourself in these situations if you feel like you’re at risk, and I feel like if you’re not, this is fine.”
FOX6 News is told that the Dodge County Sheriff stopped by the bar on Saturday. We at FOX6 have left a request with the sheriff’s office for a statement regarding the bar’s reopening.
In the meantime, during a briefing with Gov. Tony Evers on Friday, May 8, Arielle Tenor — a registered nurse — shared her experience on the front lines, caring for patients who are fighting the coronavirus.
“I have seen patients ventilated, younger than me,” said Tenor. “This is why we all need to work together. For all of us, it means physical distancing and self-isolating.”
Tenor pleaded with Wisconsinites to think of others before violating the order’s extension.
“I know it’s hard, but I’ve seen what this virus can do,” Tenor said. “We need to do everything we can to keep each other safe, sane and healthy.”