Superior Restaurants See Extra Customers from Minnesota After Gov. Walz’s Restrictions

While business owners in Superior said they welcome the extra business, they said they feel for the restaurants suffering in Duluth.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Restaurants in Superior are seeing more customers from across the bridge four days into Minnesota’s four-week-long restrictions closing in-person dining.

Governor Tim Walz turned the dial back Friday, to try and keep the mounting COVID-19 case numbers from maxing out capacity at hospitals statewide.

While business owners in Superior said they welcome the extra business, they said they feel for the restaurants suffering in Duluth, as they could easily find themselves in a similar situation.

“We’re all in this together, as far as restaurants and bars are concerned,” said said Sheilagh Noel, co-owner of Shorty’s Pizza and Smoked Meat.

Over at Shorty’s on Tower Avenue, she said business spilled over the bridge right as Governor Walz’s order went into effect. “It’s good for us, for my staff.”

“Since the restrictions went in on Saturday we’ve seen an uptick in business,” Noel said. “Even Monday night we’ve seen an uptick in business over the previous weeks.”

Since they social distance all seating and clean regularly, she said, they have no problem saying come over, except for the fact that Minnesota restaurants are losing those customers.

“I feel it, I feel bad for them you know they’re just trying to make a business and a life and they have payments and bills like everybody else,” said Noel. “And if we benefit from it that’s great.”

Meanwhile Rick Lampton owns Grizzly’s in Superior as well as 7 West Taphouse locations in Superior as well as Downtown and Miller Hill in Duluth. He is noticing the same trend.

“Definitely a lot of Minnesota plates in the parking lot,” Lampton said.

The extra business at Grizzly’s and the 7 West on Tower Avenue, which also has seen an increase in Food Dudes Delivery and takeout according to staff, has helped even the scale a bit Lampton said, after he had to close his Downtown Duluth 7 West and 310 Pub in Canal Park.

“We’re still in the weeds but we were growing out of it,” he said. “And with one side open and one side closed we’ll definitely see a little spike when we probably wouldn’t have got it otherwise which will help, every little bit helps.”

Still, Lampton says his businesses and the Twin Ports industry as a whole won’t be the same especially if there is no federal help.”You’re gonna see — a lot more are not gonna make it through this without a stimulus package.”

“We, we’re a little bit bigger company and we are grasping at straws at this point,” he said.

Even though dine-in is allowed in Wisconsin, both Governors Walz and Evers still advise people stay home as much as they can and avoid gathering with others.

But they still both encourage supporting local businesses by ordering takeout, curbside, or buying gift cards.

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