MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – While many restaurants and bars are anxiously waiting to reopen for indoor dining on Monday, some Minneapolis establishments won’t have the same luxury. Mayor Jacob Frey made the decision Friday to continue to ban bar service and seating in Minneapolis, even though indoor dining will be allowed.
This directly impacts bars that don’t have any table seating, like Palmer’s Bar in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
Owner Tony Zaccardi says without bar service, there’s no point in reopening, but he does support the mayor’s decision.
“That’s all anyone wants, just to belly up to the bar and order a beer or a cocktail, but now is not the time for that,” said Zaccardi. “I’m proud of him to do it.”
Zaccardi says he doesn’t believe it’s safe enough right now to reopen. He says even if he spaced customers out down the bar, his employees would still be serving them less than six feet away. He’d rather wait until customers can safely and comfortably sit on his patio.
“As much as I want to see everybody, I don’t want to do it until it’s a little closer to,” said Zaccardi.
He also said it didn’t financially make sense to reopen with a 10 p.m. curfew still in place, when Palmer’s depends on 70% business after 10 p.m.
“From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., the bar is packed people are doing shots, buying rounds, that’s really when it’s hustle and bustle,” said Zaccardi.
Just down the road from Palmer’s is Town Hall Brewery on Washington Avenue. They’re seizing the opportunity to reopen, knowing that they’ll have less seating opportunities with their bar closed.
“Quite honestly, just being able to open is better than nothing,” said Sean O’Brien, the general manager.
They’ve placed human cardboard cut outs at the tables that will remain empty on Monday to keep their indoor dining customers spaced out.
O’Brien says they’re excited to reopen, even though the seating they normally have at their bar will be unavailable.
“There’s some aspect that I look at it like maybe it’s a good thing because it limits our risk to some degree,” said O’Brien, who optimistically says the empty bar space will use give them extra room to space out their tables.
This limitation is for Minneapolis bar service only. St. Paul and other cities in the metro are not impacted.
Indoor dining at half capacity starts Monday, with a 10 p.m. curfew. Most restaurants will continue with curbside and take-out options.
Frey said he will continue to monitor public health data to guide future decisions, especially given the increased travel around the holiday season.
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