Moorhead bar disappointed in shutdown extension but will not defy Gov.’s order

Legends Bar & Grill employees say curbside pickup and delivery are not enough to survive on

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Besides the occasional phone call coming in, it’s unusually quiet inside Legends Bar & Grill in Moorhead.

The restaurant has been closed to dine-in customers since Gov. Tim Walz imposed a four-week shutdown last month.

“We’re exhausted as a business and as employees,” says Legends media specialist and bartender Baylee Engquist. “Not so much on the side of the good exhaustion that we miss of being busy, but the exhaustion of this just continuing to go on and this continuing to extend.”

Restaurants and bars will continue to not serve dine-in customers, Walz announced Wednesday.

Although outdoor dining can resume, those at Legends say that’s not realistic.

“That’s not feasible in January, in December and January months of Minnesota,” explains Engquist.

Like many other Minnesota restaurants, Legends is offering curbside pickup and delivery options, but some say that’s simply not enough to survive on.

An initiative by the ReOpen Minnesota Coalition is supporting over 100 restaurants that are opening their doors in defiance of Walz’s executive orders.

In a statement released Wednesday, the group says in part, “Many of our businesses opened today, each reporting large crowds, big tips and supportive visits from political representatives.”

Although unsure of how they will proceed, Legends is not planning on opening its doors.

Employees hope Walz will take border cities into consideration moving forward.

“We know COVID is real. We don’t deny that by any means. We have staff here who have been affected by COVID and have lost loved ones, myself included, but we also are not wanting to open our doors recklessly,” says Engquist. “We’re not asking to throw masks out the window, to throw cleaning protocol out the window, nothing like that. We just want fair playing ground.”

Moorhead Police Capt. Deric Swenson says information regarding area restaurants defying the Gov.’s orders will be forwarded to the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.

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