(KEYC) — Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that restaurants can open with a maximum of 50 occupants for outdoor seating only beginning June 1.
The reaction has been all over the spectrum. While some have been understanding, many are left wondering if their business is going to last.
“It’s really nice to have a leader that can take evidence-based practices and then put them into a structure that small businesses can then follow,” said Natasha Frost, owner of The Wooden Spoon.
“First reaction was a gut punch,” said Jay Reasner, operating partner at Pub 500. “It was not what we were expecting nor what we were hoping.”
One thing is for certain, though; business owners are going to have to adapt.
While the new order allows seating exclusively outdoors, many do not have the option.
Cities are now working with various hospitality establishments to see how they can create patio-esque environments.
Big Dog has been thinking about how they can compensate. It turns out they are implementing a full 50x50 patio in front of the store.
“We just started this patio now. It’s something new,” said Big Dog Sports Cafe Manager Isaac Becker. “We are happy the City of North Mankato passed the resolution to allow us to build a patio and have a temporary patio. It’ll be interesting to try to get the kinks out of it but we are excited to do that.”
Reasner says this pandemic is a serious issue. He doesn’t want to be judged for wanting to open his business.
“If we want to open, we get tagged as somebody who doesn’t care,” explained Reasner. “That’s not the case. The hospitality industry has done nothing but help communities since the beginning of hospitality. I mean that’s what we do, that’s what we love to do, we just want the opportunity to keep doing it.”
While Frost is confident in her small business counterparts.
“Small businesses are nimble and innovative,” added Frost. “They are going to come up with solutions that are going to be the best for our community. We are a thriving small business community in Old Town and the City Center in particular. I look forward to seeing how people are going to get creative with trying to comply with an order based on evidence-based practices.”
It’s unprecedented times for many small businesses around the area and around the nation. Support for these places is needed now more than ever.