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Video: Minnesota restaurants happy to be open for indoor dining again

Jun 11, 2020 05:16AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Customers dining in at Miller Hill 7 West Tap House.  Photo: WDIO-TV

By Ryan Juntii of WDIO-TV - June 10, 2020

Restaurants across the state of Minnesota were able to open up at a 50 percent occupancy for indoor dining on Wednesday, much to the delight of customers and restaurant workers.

310 Pub, Bridgeman's, and Miller Hill 7 West TapHouse tell WDIO News the last time they had customers dine in prior to Wednesday was March 17.

"You wouldn’t have thought that it was really an experience going out to eat as much, but it really is,” said Kendall Sandberg, who was visiting Duluth on Wednesday afternoon, and eating at 310 Pub.

For restaurant owners and customers alike, that experience has been deeply missed.

"It’s been almost three months, and when you don’t know when you’re able to do your job like you’re used to, it gets a little bit frustrating, so to have those people come in this morning, it was really exciting,” said Bridgeman's Owner Jay Broman.

For restaurant workers like Broman, it's now about adjusting to the 50 percent occupancy requirement, while also following safety guidelines.

“The employees wear masks. We try to do the six-foot distance. We do every other booth,” Broman said.

Close by at Miller Hill 7 West TapHouse, General Manager Jen Wright says they also require their employees to wear masks, and get screened daily. Wright says they also reduced the amount of people that are able to eat inside from 125 to 65, spaced out their tables, and stepped up their sanitization efforts.

“We’ve definitely enhanced our sanitizing and washing tables. We’ve added a host so that person can control seating,” said Wright.

310 Pub in Canal Park is also taking similar safety measures.

“We’re all required to wear masks at all times. Kitchen and front of the house. Everyone that comes in, we have sanitizer around the restaurant, and we’re just making sure we don’t have too many people at once,” said 310 Pub Bar Manager Donald Soulak.

With safety at the forefront, workers are thrilled to have customers again come through the doors.

"Part of the reason we're in this industry is because we love people, and we love interaction, and getting to know customers at the bar, so yeah not having that aspect of our job was really hard, but we're so excited to have everybody back," said Wright.

To watch the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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