The Spud Jr in EGF finds innovative way to provide outdoor dining amid pandemic

The business opened four heated pods that are available between 4 and 10pm.

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (KVRR) – The Spud Jr in East Grand Forks opens outdoor pods to provide dining services for those in the community.

The Spud Jr. owner Justin LaRocque says that having to deal with the pandemic on top of the everyday hurdles of opening a new business has been something very hard to navigate.

“On top of dealing with Government shutdowns of indoor dining, and whatnot, you know it’s been your regular growing pains of establishing a new business and making sure that you’re getting your brand out to the community and making sure people know who you are and where you’re located,” says The Spud Jr owner Justin LaRocque.

After the second shutdown, the business says knowing the time of year they would be in, they knew they had to be more creative in how they would provide outdoor services.

The business opened four heated pods that are available between 4 and 10pm.

They only allow up to six people in each tent and you must make a reservation beforehand.

“It’s been going really well. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on them. Assuming we can get through all of this, whenever that end point is. A silver lining might be that we kind of found a new way to do patio sitting in Minnesota in the winter,” LaRocque said.

But LaRocque says that at the end of the day, the state needs to help businesses who are being greatly impacted.

“So, what we came up with was we were going to stage a sit in protest, which is what we’re doing on January 9,” LaRocque said.

The sit-in is to protest the Governor’s executive orders.

The business will be blocking off a street in East Grand Forks and encouraging people to bring their pop up or ice house to set up on the street.

‘We need people to take a look at the fact that these are livelihoods being affected. From employees, to owners, to vendors,” LaRocque said.

The cost to attend is $40,with the proceeds going to fund Joe’s Diner and Boardwalk Bar who have remained open and defied the Governor’s orders.

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