Minneapolis easing restrictions on bar service

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The city of Minneapolis is easing restrictions on bar service in the city. 

In an email obtained by News Talk 830 WCCO, the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association told Minneapolis bar license holders that the city will now allow patrons to purchase drinks and food from the bar provided the bar meets a recently adopted fitness test. The city will still restrict congregating and mingling at the bar. 

While the bars and restaurants have complained to the city that they cannot survive with the seating and capacity restrictions, Mayor Frey added more restrictions to bar service in the city on July 31st. Those restrictions included not allowing any service in bar areas and that food and drink could only be served to seated patrons. Tony Chesak, MLBA Executive Director, says that these restrictions are too much and unfair to business owners. 

“Broad brushing the entire industry in Minneapolis is overreaching. Most bars and restaurants are complying, which is what we’re hearing from the regulators. Punishing those who are complying is uncalled for.”

In another email obtained by News Talk 830 WCCO, the Minneapolis Health Department confirmed to a city bar that the changes would take effect. In the email, the bar is told that a bar is defined as such:

A bar counter is an allowable use under Emergency Regulation 2020-17 if it can satisfy both parts of the following fitness test where the bar counter:

Is used solely as a service delivery mechanism where patrons order, purchase, receive food and/or alcohol before relocating to an approved destination

   a. Table seating or Takeaway for food,

   b. Takeaway for Growlers and Crowlers,

   c. Table seating for on-sale alcohol,

AND

Does not function as space for patrons to stand, congregate, or consume alcoholic beverages for any duration of time.

This new policy is already in effect for Minneapolis.