MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With several feet of snow still on the ground, many people are itching to get outside for fun times on the lake. But many are just ready to eat on a patio.

Susan Rowland of Moto-I & The Herkimer Pub says the only thing that’s standing in the way of patio dining is the weather.

“As soon as people want to be outside, we’re ready to open,” Rowland said. “We’re staffed and ready to go.”

Snow and a handful of tables are the only thing you’ll find on the rooftop of Moto-I at Lake and Lyndale in Minneapolis. Last year, they were serving up drinks on the rooftop in January. This year, not so much.

“It did actually open once, the first day we hit the 40s,” she said. “But it was very short lived, lasted about two hours.”

At this point last spring, the metro saw almost 40 days at 50 degrees or higher. So far this season, that’s happened just three times.

“Let’s just say it’s very painful right now that it’s not open,” she said.

Most of the restaurants with outdoor dining make their revenue in March through September. At Calhoun Square, Uptown Cafeteria manager Brad Berge says they’re ready to open their rooftop Sky Bar.

“We get calls in the middle of winter asking if it’s open, which is kind of strange,” Berge said. “I’m just waiting for it to warm up enough to get to a temperature where people will actually want to sit up here because they’ll sit at Twins games when it’s 30 degrees, but not to eat.”

When it does warm up, more customers will be able to enjoy the rooftop patio. The seating’s been reconfigured to allow for more tables.

“It’s probably going to be at least into the next week before we can have people up there and be comfortable,” he said.

The Uptown Cafeteria says come snow or sunshine, it’s holding a Sky Bar launch party on May 18. There will be drink specials and other fun activities to kick off patio season.


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