Bar And Restaurant Owners React To Loosened Restrictions on Indoor Dining

"I cannot wait. I am elated. Literally, I cannot wait for people to come into this beautiful restaurant to enjoy what we enjoy, which is beautiful food," said Solomon Witherspoon, the owner of Spoons Bar and Grill.

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota Governor Walz announced on Wednesday that he is loosening restrictions on indoor dining.

Minnesota bar and restaurant owners are happy about the governor’s decision to allow inside dining for the first time since late November.

“I cannot wait. I am elated. Literally, I cannot wait for people to come into this beautiful restaurant to enjoy what we enjoy, which is beautiful food,” said Solomon Witherspoon, the owner of Spoons Bar and Grill.

Witherspoon shares his joy of finally getting the chance to welcome customers into his new restaurant after opening during the pandemic.

“I’m ready just to bring the community together, serve them some great food, and serve a great experience,” said Witherspoon

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz gave the green light allowing restaurants to open for in-person dining at 50% capacity after allowing takeout, delivery or outside only for quite some time.

“We need to get back and go. from the beginning the restaurants, in general, we’re going above and beyond,” said Rick Lampton, owner of 310 Pub, 7 West Taphouse, and Blue Rock Coffee and Wine Cafe.

While many restaurant owners are glad to see the turn of the dial, many also believe its long overdue.

“In general, takeout doesn’t pay the bills. It will keep a couple people working, but you are not getting ahead or coming close to breaking even,” said Lampton.

Due to the strict COVID-19 guidelines, he had to temporarily close a few of those establishments to just stay afloat.

now that the governor is scaling back on restrictions, Lampton can get back to business.

“We are going to open everything. We are opening on Monday.”

Some restrictions will remain in place including the 10 p.m. curfew.

This can be bad news for places like the 310 Pub in Duluth, which makes most of its money during late-night hours.

“That store will struggle for sure. We don’t get busy until after 9 p.m.,” said Lampton.

Even with the challenges brought on by the pandemic, these restaurant owners say they are just grateful for the opportunity to get back to more of an expanded way of business.

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