Restaurant, brewery owners react to extended dine-in closures

Talia Milavetz
Updated: March 25, 2020 05:35 PM
Created: March 25, 2020 04:44 PM

(ABC 6 News) - At Taco Jed there are empty tables, but full stomachs. 
“We’ve gone to curbside only, trying to get people to social distance,” said Owner Steve Dunn. 
Little Thistle Brewing Company is following suit, selling crowlers, growlers, and bottles to go. 
 “We’re a taproom model so people have to come to us. We very quickly changed to beer to go. People can drive up and take the beer right from the vehicle,” said Owner and Head Brewer Steven Finnie.  
Last week, Governor Tim Walz ordered people to stop dining-in at bars, restaurants, and breweries. He did give the okay for takeout, delivery, and drive-thru.

That order was set to expire this Friday. But Wednesday, Walz issued a stay at home order, which will go into effect Friday night. It will prolong the dine-in closures until at least May 1st. Walz is still allowing takeout options for now. 
Finnie said he did expect an extension on the closures at some point. 
“It’s not a surprise. I think if you watch what’s going on in the world right now, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to be a quick thing to resolve. But if we all do our best to keep everyone safe at home and safe in business it won’t be as long as it has to be,” he said.
For now, Little Thistle and Taco Jed will stay open with their takeout options. 
 “We’ll stay open until they close us, and use as safe practices as we can and encourage people to use those safe practices as well,” said Dunn.
Both owners are looking forward to the day when customers can come back and stay. 
“In the future hopefully we can have people out, here again, have dogs out here, families out here and people enjoying a beer,” said Finnie.
But if things get worse before they get better, Dunn remembers this:

“If we have to shut down, the tacos aren’t worth the lives,” he said. 
For more information on the Governor’s stay at home order, click here

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