By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As Minnesota continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases, we’re also starting to see some businesses take action. As winter sets in, many restaurants are choosing to close, but it’s only temporary, with the hopes of coming back in the spring stronger than ever.

Dark Horse Bar and Grill in the heart of downtown St. Paul will only be pouring and serving for a few more days.

“I can’t fight something that’s invisible. If I could take COVID out in the alley and give it the left hook I would,” said Paddy Whelan, co-owner of the restaurant. He made a decision to close his restaurant down for the winter in order to save it for the future.

“I need long term stability and that’s what I want to have for my staff and the way for me to do that is to close. It’s the only way,” he said. This summer they were able to use their patio to safely bring in a decent amount of customers, but without that option this winter, it didn’t make financial sense to stay open.

It’s a life-saving tactic also used by Central Northeast in Minneapolis.

“Breaking even was impossible for us in the summertime, so in the winter time, it’s going to be much worse,” said Andy Cohen who owns the restaurant.

The sidewalk is where their patio seating goes in the summer, but without it in the winter, Cohen says closing temporarily was their only option.

“We’re trying to do all we can to conserve cash and come out on the other side,” he said.

Both Dark Horse and Central hope to reopen sometime in the spring, but that will all be dependent on whether or not the virus is more under control next year.

Billy’s on Grand in St. Paul, as well as Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka are two other restaurants closing for the winter. All have plans to reopen in the spring.

Marielle Mohs