Restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul are announcing intentions open dining rooms that have been dark throughout the pandemic. Restaurants like Revival, Surly Beer Hall, newcomer Petite Leon, and more have announced they will open dining rooms for service in April.
The news comes days after CDC chief, Dr. Rochelle Walensky cautioned against state’s opening up too soon. “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope,” she said. “But right now, I’m scared.”
New cases of COVID-19 have been creeping upwards lately, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. On Wednesday 400 hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 cases, the most since the last peak in January.
On Tuesday March 30, Minnesota opened up vaccine eligibility to Minnesota residents 16 and up, although appointments continue to be difficult to obtain for many.
In an effort to vaccinate hospitality workers, some restaurant groups like Blue Plate Group and Travail have hosted vaccination clinics in an effort to get shots in the arms of workers.
Revival St. Paul’s dining room will open for service tomorrow April 1. Surly’s massive beer hall and garden will open June 1, after a headline grabbing closure and a failed unionizing effort last year. Jorge Guzeman and Travis Serbus’ Petite Leon will open its dining room to the public for the first time beginning Friday April 9. Travail’s Basement Bar is now taking a limited number of reservations for its reopening April 8.
Dining rooms continue to be limited to 75% capacity and require social distancing, but seating restrictions at bars have been lifted. Masks are still required indoors and are supposed to be worn whenever guests are not actively eating or drinking. Restaurants must close by 11pm.
Still, amidst all the caution and concern, there is hope evident that the Twin Cities restaurant industry might be on the precipice of a return to hospitality.