Created: May 22, 2020 10:41 PM
(ABC 6 News) - Governor Walz's announcement Wednesday to allow outdoor dining beginning June 1 blindsided many restaurant owners and the Rochester Chamber of Commerce is looking to help.
"We're asking to trust him and asking him to trust that the restaurants and bars are prepared, they have prepared their preparedness plans, they are ready and that they are ready to accept the responsibility of opening up safely," Kathleen Harrington, president of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce said.
For those who feel strongly about reopening indoor dining, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce has created a petition.
Restaurant and bar owner, Charlie Brannon, signed the petition soon after it was put online. He said opening up inside is important because the weather is not always permit-able.
"The reason is we're an inside restaurant. That's our bread and butter and we feel that outside restaurants, we feel is great when the weather's 75 degrees, sunny, there's no bugs," Charlie said. "But in our case, in these 15 days, whether how long we have to be on the patio, it's weather-driven."
Charlie said his restaurant and bar have been prepared for a potential in-store reopening for 15 days and with uncertainty starting to settle in, he says it's a whole new process.
"As we reopen, it's like opening a new restaurant again and I've done a number of those," he said. "So we're starting right from scratch again."
The petition will be sent to Governor Walz's office and Charlie has a message for him.
"I'd like for him to take a serious look at what the needs for the state is," he said. "I don't think we're being treated as fairly as the big box stores are."
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