MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been one month since Minnesota restaurants were given the green light to reopen at 50% capacity. But what seemed like a big breakthrough has, for some, yielded a disappointing response.
After two mandatory shutdowns Minnesota restaurants are open, but at times it’s hard to tell.READ MORE: HealthPartners Now Offering Drive-Up COVID-19 Vaccinations
At J.R. Mac’s in St. Paul, since indoor dining opened up, takeout business has almost completely dried up — down from 30 to two orders a night.
“We are not seeing people in, obviously for lunch or dinner, or filling the seats in the restaurant,” server Amy Green said. “We still need the support. I don’t think that people understand even though we are open and we are at 50%, we are not getting the business we need.”
With 20 years in the business, Green is trying hard to hang on, but not all her peers can.
“I have had tons of friends and acquaintances who have moved on. They can’t afford to do it any longer,” she said.
Across the river, at Crooked Pint Minneapolis, the struggle is also real; owner Paul Winge cut 40 staff members.
“It’s almost like you are a prize fighter taking a punch. You get hit and you scramble to deal with that hit and, ‘Oh, I can stabilize,’ and all the sudden something else comes,” he said.READ MORE: COVID-19 In MN: 1 Year Since 1st Case Detected In MN, Total Cases Approaching 490,000
Winge says survival has been tough between shutdowns, carjackings and crime, empty office buildings and empty venues.
“The Armory is a big thing for us, obviously U.S. Bank Stadium. Without those things, it doesn’t make sense to be down here, to be quite honest,” he said.
It’s been a month since Crooked Pint opened to half capacity but they have yet to have a 50% crowd show up.
“The cost of doing business is rising and the ability to make money is going down. It’s a tough situation for sure,” Winge said.
He says he’s working hard to stay in the fight, a fight that’s not yet letting up.
“Hopefully when everyone gets vaccinated, they will come out,” Green said. “But will we still be here?”MORE NEWS: 'They Both Just Lived For Family': Best Friends Die Days Apart From COVID
There could be a boost to business next week. Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine’s Restaurant Week kicks off with an added “takeout edition.”