How Mankato’s Wine Cafe reopened its doors following COVID-19 exposure

How Mankato’s Wine Cafe reopened it’s doors following COVID-19 exposure

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Wine Cafe was one of the first businesses in Mankato to temporarily close following the green light to open on June 1 from Gov. Tim Walz.

The same day Wine Cafe learned about its exposure to COVID-19, it announced its closure on social media and all employees were tested.

"Of course we were shocked at how quickly it happened after reopening and so, we immediately stepped back. That's another reason why we closed so quickly, so we could re-evaluate what we needed to do in the future to keep it from happening again," owner Emily Green said.

Once the establishment’s 5 employees were in the clear, the focus was on sanitizing and reopening.

"As we navigate through this, if we need to change things, we'll change again and we'll keep dialing it forward or dialing it back as we need to. As a small business, it's just really difficult. and we're just going to keep doing the best we can with what's the best for us," Green said.

Some changes included how many seats were available indoors, no direct bar service, requiring masks inside and encouraging people to eat outside.

Wine Cafe says its priority is to keep everyone safe and continue transparency.

"They're leaving it up to business discretion on whether actually you even need to close at all. Mainly they're saying that a particular employee needs to self-isolate for 14-days and obviously wait until they have a negative test result to be able to return. Technically we didn't have to close at all," Green said.

During the recent closures, the staff took advantage of the time to enhance the bar.

"A positive thing that happened through the shutdown is that there was time available for Dan and Emily to create this beautiful back bar," manager Gina Abbas said.

“We did a lot of painting and cleaning and reorganizing, re-evaluating our menus,” Green said.

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