Numerous restaurants in the city temporarily closed or adjusted their food preparation practices on Wednesday as a result of a wide spread boil-water advisory issued on Tuesday evening by the Great Lakes Water Authority. The alert impacts Detroit south of McNichols to the riverfront and Linwood east to Connor as well as the cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park.
The advisory was issued as a precautionary measure after a relatively common equipment malfunction at a water treatment facility resulted in low water pressure. The drop in pressure potentially caused the water system to become temporarily contaminated with bacteria. By boiling the water before drinking or cooking, city residents and business owners can kill potentially harmful bacteria.
While water advisories have happened before — one impacted areas of southwest Detroit last summer — this particular alert covered a large swath of Detroit’s central business district including Corktown, downtown, Midtown, and Eastern Market. To make matters worse, the recommendations were initially rolled out with confusing boundaries allowing some restaurants and bars to continue to operate normally until late into Wednesday, according the Detroit Free Press.
Parc in Campus Martius reportedly learned of the boil-water advisory on Tuesday evening and spent $450 to purchase fresh ice and bottled water. The restaurant was forced to clean out and sanitize its ice bins.
Spots like Russell Street Deli were less lucky, according to Crain’s. Management at Russell Street ended up chucking out a whole box of lettuce that had been rinsed in city tap water before they learned of the warning.
Several restaurants including Antietam, Beyond Juicery + Eatery, and Hudson Cafe closed their doors to on Wednesday and Thursday citing the water issue.
"You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend." #BruceLee #water #boil #detroit
Elsewhere, restaurants and cafes were making the best of a temporary inconvenience. Bakery and cafe Sister Pie is brewing French press coffee with boiled water rather than their usual methods to ensure customers’ safety.
Update, 3/2, 2:55 p.m.: The advisory will remain in effect until noon on Friday, March 3, per a release from the City of Detroit.
Are you a restaurant or business that’s been impacted by the water advisory? Tell us what your doing in the comments or drop Eater a note at the tipline.
• Boil Water Advisory [City of Detroit]
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