MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Business in Hudson, Wisconsin has been hot since Minnesota put its latest COVID-19 restrictions in place. But a fatal stabbing has the mayor calling for a curfew for bars and restaurants.
Wisconsin has fewer restrictions, but this new curfew could force bars and restaurants to shut down at 10 p.m.
“The fact that our bars and restaurants are open is a draw,” said Kelly Lavers, who owns Et Cetera Home Decor and Gift Shop in Hudson.
She says business has been up ever since Minnesota went to take-out only for bars and restaurants.
“Even though there are other gift shops open in Minnesota, the fact that we do have restaurants, people want to come and spend the day shopping, grab a bite to eat, and make a family event of it,” she said.
But it’s not these bar and restaurant patrons city officials are concerned about. They’re worried about the people who cross the border with bad intentions.
“The criminal aspect is coming over here to try and take advantage of how open Wisconsin is,” said Hudson Police Chief Geoffrey Willems.
He says his officers have seen an influx of vehicles with Minnesota license plates.
“Ever since Minnesota closed down and locked up the last couple of weekends, we’ve seen a significant increase not only in the amount of traffic and people coming over here, but there are also increases in ordinance violations, disturbances, disorderly conducts, assaults,” said Willems.
Hudson Mayor Rich O’Connor is floating around the idea of a curfew which would shut down bars and restaurants, trying to stop the violence that has come with the increase in visitors. The tipping point: three people were stabbed in three different locations in downtown Hudson early Sunday morning.
“I think every restaurant decides if they want to stay open past 10 o’clock or not, because not every restaurant having a bar open is a draw to any kind of mischievous behavior or shenanigans. Some restaurants and bars don’t draw that crowd,” said Lavers.
There was talk that they would discuss a potential 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants at Monday night’s city council meeting. That didn’t happen. But it’s possible they could open this up for public comment tomorrow evening at City Hall. They plan to announce their plans on the city’s website.
“The reality is we are sort of a suburb of the Twin Cities and for us to be out of sync with them is a slap in the face,” Gary Hines said.
“I think we’ve been through enough and they are taking proper measures for people to come into their bars and I think they should stay open. I think we’ve been through enough and they are taking proper measures for people to come into their bars, and I think they should stay open,” said Brice Buckingham.
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