Gov. Walz Signals Tightening of COVID-19 restrictions on Bars and Restaurants

Gov. Tim Walz hinted Monday he would enact targeted restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 but didn’t describe the new rules planned. 

Walz said the state health department had identified three major infection sources of spread: social gatherings, bars and restaurants.

It appears as if those restrictions will mostly affect bars and restaurants. 

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Another Restaurant Chain, Friendly’s, Hits Wall in Pandemic

Friendly’s Restaurants, the 85-year-old East Coast dining chain known for its Fribble milkshakes and ice cream sundaes, is filing for bankruptcy protection.

It joins a growing list of well-established restaurant chains that are failing due to an unchecked pandemic in the United States.

George Michel, CEO of FIC Restaurants Inc., Friendly’s parent company, said COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic impact” on operations. FIC will sell essentially all of its assets to the restaurant company Amici Partners Group.

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New York City Could Lose Half of All Bars, Restaurants

The Daily Caller reports, New York City could see up to half its restaurants and bars close permanently in the next six months because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new audit released Thursday from the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“New York City’s bars and restaurants are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances and many eateries operate on tight margins. Now they face an unprecedented upheaval that may cause many establishments to close forever,” DiNapoli said, according to an official statement.

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New York City Says Outdoor Dining Will Become ‘Permanent and Year-Round’

New York City plans to make its flourishing outdoor dining economy a permanent fixture of the city’s landscape going forward, municipal officials said in a press release on Friday. 

The city’s “Open Restaurants” program, which has enrolled thousands of establishments since it debuted in June, “will be extended year-round and made permanent,” the city announced in the press release.

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No Credible Evidence to Support Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s July Shutdown of Bars and Reduction of Restaurant Capacity, Despite Bullying Tactics by His Administration

When Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference that he was shutting down all the city’s bars for 14 days, reducing restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, and temporarily closing event venues and entertainment venues, all due to “record” cases of COVID-19 traceable to restaurants and bars, he apparently knew that his own Metro Health Department said less than two dozen cases of COVID-19 could be traced to those establishments. But he failed to disclose that the “record” of bar and restaurant traceable cases to which he referred to was about one tenth of one percent of Davidson County’s 20,000 cases of COVID-19.

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Walz Stumbles Incoherently Over Explanation for Why Churches Are Limited to 10 People, But Restaurants Can Host 50

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that bars and restaurants can now host up to 50 people for outdoor dining, but churches are still required to limit both indoor and outdoor services to 10 people.

The governor was asked during his Wednesday press briefing why restaurants can host 40 more people than churches for outdoor gatherings.

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Bonfire Restaurants Latest COVID Casualty, Announces Permanent Closure of All Locations

Bonfire Restaurants announced Friday that it will permanently close all five of its Minnesota locations because of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a statement that its locations in Blaine, Eagan, Mankato, Savage, and Woodbury will not be reopening.

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Georgia’s Restaurants, Barber Shops Are Coming Back to Life as Lockdowns Ease, Data Show

Georgia’s restaurants and barber shops are seeing a slow but steady increase in traffic after Gov. Brian Kemp began easing up the economic lockdowns he imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic, location data show.

Visits to the state’s barber shops and tattoo parlors increased to 80% of pre-coronavirus levels after Georgia began rolling back own stay-at-home orders on April 24, according to data released by Foursquare, a location technology platform. Data also show restaurants are on the rebound.

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STUDY: Minimum Wage Hikes Are Killing Jobs in California’s Poorest Communities

by Tim Pearce   California’s minimum wage increase has cost the state thousands of jobs worth of growth in the state’s booming restaurant industry, according to a recent study by the University of California Riverside. Delayed Effects California passed a bill in 2016 to bring the state’s minimum wage up to $15…

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