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Video: Extreme heat forces some restaurants to close their doors

Jul 29, 2021 06:19AM ● By Editor

Watch the KARE 11 News Report here

Photo: KARE 11 News

By Charmaine Nero of KARE 11 News - July 28, 2021

The Lowbrow is a staple in southwest Minneapolis, and as temperatures continue to rise, this familiar place is just one of several restaurants, bars and coffee shops across the state closing their doors due to extreme heat.

“This week has just been incredibly difficult,” said Lowbrow owner Heather Bray. “Kitchens are hot places to work, and this heat is just making it untenable.”

The restaurant put up a Facebook post Tuesday, letting customers know the restaurant would be closing at 2 p.m. today. Bray says it’s to keep staff working in the kitchen safe. But it’s just another blow – after the pandemic forced them to temporarily close last year – along with the uncertainty of the winter months.

“You never know when that crazy storm is going to come, and you will have to shut down,” said Bray.

Erin Justen with Billy’s Bar and Grill in Anoka – says the restaurant is leaving the patio open, but bar service will only be available inside. 

"We made the decision to close down the patio bar because of the excessive heat warning," said Erin Justen. "Customers can still sit out here as they please, but we’re not subjecting the bartenders to being out here in the heat multiple days in a row.”

Bray says she’s looking toward a long-term solution for her restaurant. “If we’re talking about serious changes to our environment that will persist over years, we reached out to an engineering company to see what we can do to improve our air conditioning,” said Bray.

To support the needs of not only customers, but her employees. “Our community has done so much to support us, we have to remember our employees are a part of that community,” said Bray.

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