ROCHESTER, Minn. - City leaders are working on a resolution to offer restaurants more outdoor dining space.
This comes after Governor Walz stated outdoor dining can begin on June 1st. Council President, Randy Staver, explained this is part of Mayor Kim Norton's emergency order that will last until September, unless Governor Walz continues to ease restrictions. This will allow restaurants to provide outdoor seating on sidewalks, streets or alleys and restaurants can certainly use their own parking lots as well. The businesses will be responsible for taking care of the area,such as providing tables and chairs, and cleaning everything afterwards. There will be barriers to block off the new patio seating from the public. Restaurants do have to apply for this expansion.
Staver said they want to give local restaurants who don't have the option of outdoor seating the opportunity to bring in some revenue. "We understand that just opening outdoor dining is not going to be sufficient in and of itself so the business can survive from a revenue stand point," explained Staver. "So we're just trying to do whatever we can within our authority to give them some additional options." Staver said as restrictions start to ease up, he does have some concerns. "What we hope of course is that we don't see a spike in cases that would cause the governor to wanna change the dial in the other direction," explained Staver. "What we're hopeful for is that this will work."
The resolution is already drafted and there's a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss it. Staver expects the council will be supportive of the resolution. For more information, you can visit Rochester's government website.