Bars, Restaurants in Minn. Relegated to Outdoor Dining


Some Minnesota bar and restaurant owners are disappointed at the state’s updated business restrictions. According to the Mankato Free Press, Gov. Tim Walz announced that eating and drinking establishments can reopen June 1 with outdoor seating only.

“I was hoping the governor would say at least 50% capacity (for indoor dining areas),” said Najwa Massad, whose family runs two restaurants in Mankato. Outdoor seating doesn’t offer any help to their restaurants, considering they don’t have any.

Massad also happens to be in her first term as the city’s mayor, and said she’s conflicted about the response to the pandemic, weighing economic activity and safety. “I’d be the first person out there,” she said. “Then I put on my hat as mayor and think, ‘You can’t think of just the businesses, you have to think about the citizens and what’s best for them.’”

Tim and Tami Tupy, who own Mankato Brewery, do have a large outdoor patio area, and says they should be able to do most of their traditional business with some substantial adjustments. But they’re more so worried about the bars and restaurants that serve their beers. Keg sales to those establishments make up about 70% of their revenue. “Every one that doesn’t reopen is lost business for us,” Tim said. “And the longer this goes on, the harder it is.”


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