LA CRESCENT, Min. (WLAX/WEUX) – Minnesota officially re-opened in-person dining services today for the first time since mid-November. However, some restrictions are still in place. First News at Nine’s David LaClair talks to some restaurant owners about what’s changed.
Kaddy’s Kafe in downtown La Crescent is a regular dining spot for Jane Vonderoche and her sisters.
“We come in here and see lots of people we knew from a long time ago,” Vonderoche said.
But Monday was extra special as she looked forward to Kaddy’s re-open to in-person dining.
“I came today because we’ve been waiting for 8 long weeks for this thing to be lifted. Since we come here every Friday night, we were really missing our Friday night fish fries, it’s not quite the same when you take it home. We wanted to be here the first day they were open, said Vonderoche.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced Wednesday restaurant owners could re-open at 50 percent capacity, and after a rough number of weeks, Kaddy’s Kafe owner Lori Kablac says the timing couldn’t be better.
“Friday nights were really busy, but the rest of it probably like 30-50 percent of what we normally do,” said Kablac.
Just up the street, Corky’s Pizza owner Troy Nolop was also happy to get some customers right at their open at 11 a.m.
Nolop said, “Some restaurants are able to adapt better than others. It was easier for us with a carryout pizza, but we do a lot of dine-in as well and a lot of events in our event room.”
Tables and chairs are set up at least six feet apart, with continuous sanitation at each table between patrons but restaurant owners here in La Crescent are just excited to welcome customers back in their doors.
“I’m hoping that it continues as it is and that people realize Minnesota is back open. We had people come in when we were closed wanting to indoor dine because they didn’t know, so I hope they know that we are open,” said Kablac.
Vonderoche said, “I’ve missed the camaraderie and seeing our friendly people from La Crescent.”
“I’m just hoping that everybody can get back to what they’re doing as we get this virus under control,” said Nolop.
State requirements also include a maximum party for six in restaurants and two seated at a bar.
In La Crescent, David LaClair, First News at Nine.
The mask mandate for Minnesota remains in place, and all bars and restaurants are required to close at 10 p.m.