Minnesota Bars & Restaurants Open To Outdoor Dining

The new guidelines allow for outdoor dining as long as social distancing is strongly enforced, guests make reservations, and the restaurant allows no more then 50 people at a time.

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Bars and restaurants across Minnesota have been scrambling to make space for outdoor dining as new guidelines go into effect on June 1st.

“It’s totally uncharted for all of us, so everybody is trying to find a way to do what they can,” said Aaron Juhnke, the owner of the Junkyard Brewing Company.

As bars and restaurants open their patios and parking lots to customers for the first time in months under Gov. Tim Walz’s new guidelines, some places like Junkyard Brewing in Moorhead are choosing to remain closed.

“Social interaction is the heart and soul of our taproom experience. While the rules and restrictions make sense for reopening given a pandemic, they are designed to be anti-social, because social interaction is what spreads the virus. So, we’re going to hold off,” said Juhnke.

While others like Harold’s On Main are desperate to get people back in seats.

“We’re still a new business so we’re still trying to recoup our costs from opening a year ago. Having this nearly three month break, it didn’t help. It didn’t help matters at all. Any amount of income we can get is great,” said Eric Odness, one of the owners of Harold’s On Main.

The new guidelines allow for outdoor dining as long as social distancing is strongly enforced, guests make reservations, and the restaurant allows no more then 50 people at a time.

“We just really tried to spruce up the patio since it’s the only place people can go right now and there aren’t a lot of patios in town,” said Odness.

Driving around Moorhead, restaurants and bars have been excited for this day for a long time, and customers have been too.

“The feedback has been awesome,” said Juhnke.

“We’ve had several people call in already and ask when they can come on over,” said Odness.

And if you do plan on visiting a bar or restaurant…

“Bring a mask, and be respectful of people’s space so we can all stay safe,” said Odness.

Junkyard Brewing Company is still open for off-sale crowlers, but the taproom will remain closed until guidelines are loosened.

Categories: Business, Community, Coronavirus-MN, Health, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead