Flint restaurants defend water safety amid crisis

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FLINT, Mich. — Restaurant owners in Flint are feeling a drought in the middle of the water crisis.

Restaurants like the 501 Bar and Grill say that business has definitely slowed down since the fateful decision in 2014 to switch the city's water source to the Flint River.

"Almost every customer that comes in asks where your water comes from," says general manager Adam Lock. "It's not like every pipe in the city [has] lead in it."

The water at 501 showed slightly higher lead levels before the restaurant decided to use bottled water. And though the city has switched back to using Detroit-supplied water, staff still spends the first five minutes with each table they serve defending their water, Lock says.

"People want to believe you, but you can tell they are still hesitant, so they are like, Alright, I'll still take a bottled water," Lock says.

Lock fears that that his business and others in the area are being unfairly tied to a new, negative image of Flint. Lock advises that people not buy into panic.

"You don’t need to live in fear when you come to Flint. It's not a war zone."

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