Lyric Kitchen Bar Remaining Closed One Year into Pandemic

Growing cases, coupled with Superior Street Reconstruction, kept management from opening back up.

DULUTH, Minn.- While many restaurants have re-opened for limited indoor service after Minnesota’s last shutdown, one restaurant has remained closed since the pandemic began last march.

Management at Lyric Kitchen Bar in Downtown Duluth’s Holiday Center says when businesses were first closed in response to coronavirus spreading they thought it would just be for a few weeks.

But the cases kept climbing and Superior Street Reconstruction kept their one street entrance closed as well.

“We weren’t at that time set up for a carryout or takeout business model because of the Superior Street reconstruction happening at the same time and so our main entry point was blocked off,” General Manager Brandon Porter said.

Eventually all 175 employees were laid off for an indefinite amount of time. “And so we chose to just remain closed and kind of see how COVID played out,” said Porter.

According to the General Manager, as the pandemic wore on they lost about $26,000 in food. “I use this analogy: a tomato does not care whether you’re open or closed, a tomato goes bad in a few days.”

With no idea how long they would be able to re-open if they tried, he did not find it worth it to try and restart things. “We figured that we would lose $25,000 a month just to open under the current climate,” said Porter.

“We’re looking at another construction period here with Superior Street closing down April 12th and then opening just before Grandma’s Marathon,” he said. “So right now it’s a really tough climate in Duluth and all that coupled with low hotel occupancy.”

Lyric is owned and operated by Holiday Inn Downtown.

Porter says better times are yet to come they hope to re-open after the second round of construction this summer.

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