MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A bar owner in central Minnesota is reportedly planning to open his six establishments next week, whether or not the state’s stay-at-home order is extended.
Kris Schiffer, who owns the Shady’s locations in Albany, Burtrum, Cold Spring, New Munich, Rice, and St. Martin, is planning to open his restaurants on Monday. Four of his restaurants are located in Stearns County, where there’s been a major outbreak of COVID-19, with more than 1,400 confirmed cases.
According to WJON.com, Schiffer attended a city council meeting in Albany last week, wherein he said that he would open his establishments to in-person customers on May 18, even if Gov. Tim Walz extends the stay-at-home order beyond that date.
On Facebook, Schiffer wrote that he’s been reaching out to the owners of other bars and small businesses, encouraging them to open alongside him. “We need to do this in large numbers,” he wrote.
According to WJON.com, Schiffer says he has 168 employees who are out of work. Additionally, he says that his businesses can’t survive on take-out orders alone.
Minnesota’s stay-at-home order is currently set to expire on May 18. Gov. Tim Walz is weighing whether or not to extend it. Last week, he told reporters that there were “no good choices” in making such a decision.
Since the order went into effect in March, businesses such as bars, restaurants and gyms have closed to in-store customers, and more than 600,000 Minnesotans have filed for unemployment.
Still, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Minnesota continues to climb. On Tuesday, the state’s death toll surpassed 600. The governor has defended the state’s stay-at-home order, saying that it’s bought time for the state’s health care system to prepare for an expected surge in cases.
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