By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Bars and restaurants in Minneapolis can no longer have customers come up to the bar to order.

Mayor Jacob Frey’s emergency regulation to close bar areas went into effect Saturday at 5 p.m.

Frey said this week that bar areas have been hotbeds for spreading the virus, citing at least a dozen establishments connected to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Austin Lee, the co-owner of Headflyer Brewing, says the regulation came as a shock.

Headflyer confirmed with the city that it was OK to have customers line up at the end of the bar.

The taproom has also set it up so people can order on mobile tablets at their tables.

Mike Wallraff visited Headflyer Saturday only after he says it was too difficult to order a beer at a different brewery.

“We had to go onto an app,” Wallraff said. “We had to sign in through an app. They didn’t take cash.”

He thinks that was how the brewery was complying with the regulation.

John Godsall, a Headflyer customer from Minneapolis, appreciates bar areas being closed.

“Just be patient and work with the staff and understand what their constraints are,” he said. “Your experience can still be good as a customer.”

Lee says there’s now more stress on the staff, who he says are already going above and beyond.

“It is a little unfortunate, because we do feel like we’ve done everything we’ve needed to and have taken it seriously since day one,” he said. “We are kind of lumped in with other bars and restaurants.”

Like many of his customers though, Lee understands the regulation to shutter bar service.

“Hopefully it’ll prevent us from having to completely roll back [and close down again], but you never know,” he said. “We’re just kind of preparing and adapting as much as we can.”

Hospitality Minnesota released a statement this week saying Frey’s emergency regulation paints with too broad a brush.

David Schuman

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