MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A tent set-up is what many people are going to be seeing at restaurants, bars and breweries offering outdoor dining, starting Saturday.
The tents are a way to block the wind and trap in some heat, even though, per the state restrictions, the tents need to have two missing walls to allow open air flow.
On Friday night, many businesses were busy getting their tents, heats and fire pits set up to welcome customers back to their establishments again.
Phil Weber, the owner of Park Tavern in St. Louis Park, will be allowing 30 people by reservation to sit outside under their pergola, wrapped in canvas tarps, with lights and heaters.
“We’re all dying to see people’s faces again, talk to people, it’s a social business and that’s what we miss the most about it,” said Weber.
He’s owned the bowling alley and bar for 40 years. Opening back up during their busy season only to seat 30 people at the most outside is not ideal.
“Well truthfully, it’s not worth it,” said Weber.
But he said he’s willing to eat the added costs, if it means serving people again. He plans to keep them extra warm if they’re willing to come out to eat and drink.
“We’re bringing in an industrial heater, we have a TV on the patio, and infrared heat, and we’re ready to give it a try,” said Weber.
Out in Maple Grove, Zack Ward, the founder of OMNI Brewing Company, is excited to fill their tent with customers.
“Last I checked, we’re almost fully booked up,” said Ward about their Saturday reservations.
OMNI Brewing Company doesn’t serve food at their brewery, so opening up with the limitations was worth it to Ward.
“So pouring a couple of beers for the few folks that can sit on our patio, it works,” said Ward.
Ward is banking on people being willing to drink cold beer in cold weather.
“Think of it like tailgaiting, and like I said, we are going to have a huge heater back there and it’ll be cranked up,” said Ward.
OMNI Brewing Company and Park Tavern recommend making a reservation ahead of time but they will take walk-ups if they have availability.
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