Local Bars and Restaurants React to Eased Restrictions from Gov. Walz

DULUTH, Minn.– Local bars and restaurants in the Northland say Governor Walz’s announcement scaling back restrictions is good news.

It was just about a month ago when Minnesota bars and restaurants were able to let no more than 150 people inside. Now, they say not only is the additional hundred allowed in helpful but so is the extra hour they can be open for business.

At 7 West Taphouse along Maple Grove Road in Duluth, restaurant staff was excited to welcome customers inside their dining room once again, especially with the extreme cold making their outdoor seating unusable.

Management says they will continue taking precautions like sanitizing tables, menus and chairs every 30 minutes, and having a host keep groups spaced out, allowing people inside is essential to their business.

“It’s just so important to us. It’s important to every restaurant in the community to be able to let people in and sit down and enjoy their food and their drinks,” said 7 West Taphouse General Manager Jen Wright. “It’s what we do. We’re the hospitality industry and when you can be hospitable, that’s what we love.”

As for local bars, staff at 310 Pub in Canal Park say it’s huge to see the restrictions loosen again.

They are hoping being open an extra hour will give them a boost because of the pub’s night life atmosphere. The 10 p.m. curfew, they say, threw the establishment out of its comfort zone.

“It’s different, it just seems different,” said Donald Soulak, Bar Manager at 310 Pub. “It doesn’t seem like normal because I mean this place has been open at 2 in the morning since I started here three years ago and having to close it down early and make everyone leave is kind of, I almost feel bad because I want them to stick around and have a good time.”

Those at 310 Pub say while they’re ready for the extra hour, they are really counting the days until conditions allow them to open for full hours and capacity.

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