Some restrictions have been lifted off restaurants as of June 1. In March, the state’s restaurants and bars were closed to the public for dine-in service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the area restaurants were able to offer delivery and/or pick up service for food to the public.
Last week, Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order allowing bars and restaurants to open June 1 for outdoor service only as long as the business follows certain conditions including social distancing.
In Osseo, the city council approved a resolution authorizing the granting of the flexibility of restaurants and bars to open in the city if proper guidelines are followed for a temporary period of time. City Administrator Riley Grams said after the governor’s order, city staff worked with the city attorney to discuss how the city could make a path for local restaurants and bards to expand their sales. This would include allowing Grams to administratively approve plans from bars and restaurants to expand sales outdoors.
“The retailer must still abide by social distancing recommendations and shall submit a plan to the city administrator for review and approval,” Grams said. “The plan should note where the retailers plan to stage tables and chairs in the outdoor spaces.”
The retailers must also have proof that their liquor liability insurance covers outdoor alcohol sales consistent with state law.
This will be allowed until the City Council takes future action to rescind the temporary outdoor sales.
As of the afternoon of June 1, both Dick’s Bar and Grill and Duffy’s Bar and Grill had patrons dining in their enclosed outdoor spaces.
In Maple Grove, the City Council approved its ratified policy for temporary outdoor customer service areas for restaurants and bars.
The policy outlines temporary outdoor use for restaurants and bars for customer service areas. The policy also helps define where these outdoor uses can occur, keeping in mind things like parking, accessibility, sanitation, nuisance issues and public safety.
Any Maple Grove business wanting to expand their temporary public outdoor spaces have to submit an application and a sketch of the site area for staff to review.
According to the policy, “The temporary outdoor use may occur in parking areas or green space areas without a need for a variance.”
Business operators may also be required to provide a traffic management plan to ensure traffic management is in place, handicapped parking is available and sidewalk usage is unobstructed.
The Maple Grove temporary policy also addresses those businesses wishing to use outdoor spaces and serve alcohol. A revised premise plan where the location of liquor will be served needs to be submitted to staff. Sanitation and restrooms must be provided.
According to Champlin City Manager Bret Heitkamp, the city sent an email to all of Champlin’s restaurants letting them know of the opportunities and offer support to work with them to get them open for business.
“Anything we can do to make that happen — be it provisions or barricades – we’re going to make sure that that happens,” Heitkamp said. “We’re excited to get them back and get them rolling and get the business community moving back in the right direction.”
Mayor Ryan Karasek underscored the council’s support to help local restaurants, which have been restricted to take-out sales for more than two months.
“The council here was in unanimous support of work with the local restaurants to help them get out of the situation that they’re in and provide opportunities for our residents to get out there and take more advantage of the restaurants that are in our community,” Karasek said. “We’re excited to allow that to happen.”
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