Mankato area restaurants reflect on changes since pandemic began

While COVID was at its peak, restaurants needed to abide by ever changing CDC guidelines by adapting, many survived.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:15 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - While COVID was at its peak, restaurants needed to abide by ever-changing CDC guidelines. While some businesses went under, there were also many that were able to survive -- by adapting.

“For us we managed to get through it and survive and I’m happy about that and and not only survived.. But flourished afterwards,” said Spinners Bar & Grill Owner Clayton Oachs.

Amidst the masking, uptick of sanitizing, and social distancing, the city of North Mankato approved a resolution on May 5, 2020 allowing bars and restaurants to increase their seating space by utilizing outdoor space, an ordinance that still remains in effect.

Many communities in the area also passed similar ordinances.

At Pub 500 in Mankato, they extended their patio.

“We had to change the layout of our restaurant,” said Pub 500 Assistant General Manager Adam Andersen. “We got rid of a pool table added more chairs there to see we had to distance them the six feet apart,”

Oachs, in his words “trimmed the fat” from his restaurant, making 2022 one of his restaurant’s best years.

“I just got done booking all the bands for all of may through the end of September,” added Oachs. “We’ve got entertainment almost every other weekend out there. That’s great.”

But at Pub 500, their business is still speeding up.

“It’s not fully back yet,” admitted A but obviously people are becoming better and better about wanting to go out wanting to go grab a bite to eat somewhere. We’re trying to get the bar aspect back the restaurant best with back of people’s daily lives. So it’s I went down there for a little bit. So we’re trying to build it up and we’re trying to get it back to normal,” said Andersen.