Minnesota restaurants allowed to reopen patios

After almost three months of doing curb-side pick up and delivery, Minnesota restaurants and bars were given the green light on opening outdoor dining. In La Crescent, a few have chosen to open their patios.

“I think Wisconsin opening early gave people a taste of what the bar life or restaurant life is again, and now people, the local people are just wanting to stay in town and enjoy one of the three bars,” said Schmitty’s Time Out Tavern owner Bill Schmitz.

It’s the lunch rush at Schmitty’s in La Crescent, but this time, the food is being served on trays instead of given to customers in to-go boxes. Schmitz, has been getting his patio ready, by distancing tables from one another, in anticipation for this change.

“It’s gonna be a challenge. Not allowing people in the bar to stay and dine but we’re going to make the best of what we’ve got,” said Schmitz.

Minnesota Governor Walz allowed for partial patio dining to reopen in restaurants and bars in Minnesota. This is the first time customers were allowed to be at Schmitty’s in a while.

“Since St. Patty’s day, was one of the last days I was here, so it’s been three months… over three months… it’s been a really sad time,” said customer Hailey Peterson.

During that time, the tavern allowed customers to place pick-up orders only, but with the patio open, things are going to change.

“We’re able to keep people employed and we’ve got our staff working hours, and now we get to have most of them back,” said Schmitz.

For these restaurant owners, this change feels like a step toward normalcy.

“It took a while for the rain to go away but people are on the deck and having fun!” said Schmitz.

Along with Schmitty’s; Kaddy’s Kafe, Sports Hub bar and Grill, and Swing Bridge Pub in La Crescent are offering outdoor seating.