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Boreal Community Media

Video: Restaurants react, adapt to new COVID-19 restriction

Nov 14, 2020 06:24AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

From WDIO-TV - November 13, 2020

New COVID-19 restrictions have gone into effect for restaurants in Minnesota.

These restrictions include restaurants keeping to 50% capacity and under 150 people, closing bar counters for seating and service, and ceasing service between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

“I can't say we were surprised to see the restrictions that came out,” said Tony Bronson, president of the Duluth Local Restaurant Association and director of business development for Grandma’s restaurants, “but we understand that public safety kind of has to come first and so we'll do what we have to do to keep people safe; both our staff and people coming in our doors."

Bronson emphasized that many restaurants have gotten creative in their solutions to serve customers during these times; whether it be through expanded take and delivery options, or in the case Vikre Distillery, opening up a Winter Wunderbar.

The distillery opened the outside bar this week and it includes seating areas around fire pits for people to enjoy hot drinks, wintery cocktails, and s’mores.  Emily Vikre, the owner, had the Wunderbar planned before the new restrictions, but said the timing just worked out for its introduction.

“We wanted to try and create a space where people could still enjoy a cocktail and do something hopefully still fun during the winter,” said Vikre.

Weather permitting, Vikre plans to keep the outside bar seven days a week for the foreseeable future.

Earlier in the year, Vikre also diverted some of the distillery's efforts into the production of hand sanitizer. 

Both Bronson and Vikre expressed gratitude for the community that has continued to support local businesses throughout the pandemic even amidst changes in services.

They hope they can continue to serve people throughout the winter.

Vikre Distillery is located at 525 S Lake Ave #102 in Duluth.

There is a Grandma’s restaurant location across the street at 522 S Lake Ave.