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Twin Cities Restaurants Grapple With How to Reopen Amid Rising COVID-19 Rates

Dining Rooms could begin to reopen as soon as June 1

The empty dining room at P.S. Steak
Plexiglass dividers, diminished dining rooms, and health questionnaires could be a part of how we eat out now
Lucy Hawthorne

Beginning today, the state of Minnesota begins to relax its pandemic restrictions, moving from a stay at home order to what Governor Walz’s office is calling “Stay Safe MN.” People are encouraged to stay home when they can and keep social gatherings to under ten people. Retail shops are now able to re-open, so long as they have a safety plan in place. With the gradual loosening, restaurants are now looking to put into place new plans, and multiple measures to protect staff and diners when the time comes to welcome people back into dining rooms. Under the new re-opening plan, eaters could return to dining rooms and on patios as soon as June 1.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, particularly in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. In Ramsey County alone, reported cases rose 84% in the past week.

These statistics underscore the importance come of safety measures, for restaurant staff and diners. Some restaurants have installed touchless soap, water, and paper towel dispensers in the bathrooms, others are considering installing plexiglass between tables. More still have mentioned possible healthcare screenings as part of the reservation process.

The plans seem to be as varied as the restaurants themselves. Swanky P.S. Steak near Loring Park has reopened dinner reservations. Fhima’s grand dining room and art deco bar in downtown Minneapolis is preparing to open as well as add curbside service after June 1. Legendary hospitality master Tim Niver has been doing curbside service at his restaurants Mucci’s in St. Paul and Uptown, as well as Saint Dinette in St. Paul’s Lowertown. He has publicly shared an intention to continue operation until June 28 and then take a ten day break to recharge and decide what the next best course of operation will be.

The dining room at Uptown’s Mucci’s
The dining room at Mucci’s in Uptown
Jes Lahay/Eater Twin Cities

As the restrictions begin to loosen, several more restaurants are opening for curbside service in advance of the ability to open dining rooms. Last week Ann Ahmed’s award winning Thai beauty in Golden Valley, Lat14 began serving curbside. Downtown Minneapolis’ skyway lunch institution The Brother’s Deli will return with all takeout and delivery beginning June 1. Punch Pizza will begin opening all of its locations one at a time. The Calhoun Village location l begins serving Neapolitan pizzas once more, today.

The glass half-full news is that, despite more closures, Minneapolis and St. Paul restaurants are working to find ways to serve diners once again. However the future is far from certain, or simple.

Mucci's

786 Randolph Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102 (651) 330-2245 Visit Website

Mucci's Uptown

901 West Lake Street, , MN 55408 (612) 315-4608

Mucci's Italian

786 Randolph Avenue, , MN 55102 (651) 330-2245 Visit Website

Saint Dinette

261 5th Street East, , MN 55101 (651) 800-1415 Visit Website

P.S. Steak

510 Groveland Avenue, , MN 55403 (612) 886-1620 Visit Website

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