Several Minneapolis businesses are temporarily closing or pausing indoor dining after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey forced them to start checking the vaccination status of their customers.
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery said it is closing temporarily due to the Omicron variant and Frey’s vaccine mandate for bars and restaurants.
“With the recent advancement of COVID Omicron and the impending vaccination and testing requirements, we have decided to close temporarily,” the company said in a Facebook post last Saturday.
Owner Pete Rifakes told WCCO that the decision was made purely for business purposes, saying he sees the vaccine and testing mandate “affecting our service” and “putting another layer of expectations on our servers.”
The brewery, which has been open for about 25 years, usually has its annual “barrel-aged month” in February, where it features its barrel-aged beers and food pairings. The business said it will likely postpone this tradition to March.
Frey’s vaccine-or-test mandate took effect Wednesday and is now facing a legal challenge from several restaurants.
Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, has temporarily closed its taproom and in-person store.
Rise Bagel Company has also temporarily paused indoor dining because of the mayor’s mandate.
“The City of Minneapolis’ latest executive order goes into effect tomorrow. We have made the tough decision to once again stack up our tables & chairs. We regret that we can’t offer you a place to dine at this time,” the business wrote on Facebook this week.
Punch Pizza has moved its Grand Avenue and Lake Street locations to takeout only “due to the new COVID-19 mandates in St. Paul and Minneapolis.”
“Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns to further Mayor Frey’s agenda of pushing for and convincing the public to get vaccinated,” says a lawsuit filed against the mayor Friday.
Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.