You have probably read or heard about Governor Walz’s announcement regarding the partial or phased re-opening of bars and restaurants.  Starting June 1, 2020, bars and restaurants will be allowed to serve sit down customers with certain restrictions, among other things.  So, what does that mean?  Here’s what you should know:

1. COVID-19 Preparedness Plan: a preparedness plan must be adopted and implemented.

2.  Outdoor Service Only: customers may not be served indoors.

3. Masks: restaurant staff are required to wear masks while customers are encouraged to wear masks.

4. 6 feet: there must be a minimum of six feet of space between tables.

5. Maximum capacity: no more than 50 people are allowed on the premises at any time.

6. Party Size: tables are limited to parties of 4 or 6 if everyone is part of one family unit.

7.  Reservations: reservations are required.

8.  Curbside Pickup: curbside pickup is still permitted.

Commissioner Steve Grove of the Department of Employment and Economic Development encouraged restaurants and bars to partner with cities and local governments on creative solutions for outdoor space, including the use of sidewalks or parking spaces. Commissioner Grove said he hopes cities will be flexible with their zoning laws so restaurants can expand their outdoor capacity. The use of sidewalks and parking spaces is a unique solution, but it raises some legal issues.  

If you are unsure what outdoor spaces may be allowed for table service or need general guidance regarding re-opening of your business, please contact us here. We are happy to help you form partnerships with cities and local governments, navigate the state’s requirements, and advise you on any other legal matters or issues affecting you or your or business.