MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Birch’s On the Lake has lost around 70% of its regular revenue while doing take-out only during the stay at home order.

The owner came up with a plan to do a family night at the drive-in outside the Long Lake restaurant.

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“It sold out in a day,” Burton Joseph said.

The plan was to hand out notes to customers explaining the safety rules: stay in their cars, maintain distance, and no alcohol. They would be allowed to call in an order for take-out to eat in their cars.

On Monday state officials told Joseph they could not have the event.

“If we’re coming up with the ideas to keep everyone safe at this point I feel like they deserve to give someone a chance,” Joseph said.

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Joseph got the idea from Crooners Supper Club in Fridley.

“We noticed in Europe these drive-in concerts were becoming really popular and they still are right now,” Crooners music director Andrew Walesch said.

Crooners was told their drive in concert series couldn’t happen.

“The Governor was asking that people not gather in any way or assemble any way publicly and because that was part of the extension of the executive order we realized we did not qualify to continue with this series,” Walesch said.

The Governor’s order says outdoor recreational activities like performances and spectator events are not allowed during the stay at home order.

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Crooners has rescheduled their concert series to start in June after the stay at home order expires. Birch’s refunded customers who had planned to come to their drive-in movie, but hopes to still make the event happen in the future.

John Lauritsen