ROCHESTER, Minn. - Under Governor Tim Walz's latest guidelines, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen on June 1st, but only serving outdoor seating areas. So what about restaurants that have limited, or no outdoor seating options?
City leaders are considering several options for expanding outdoor seating for local restaurants. One is to use outdoor space at the Mayo Civic Center. Another option is to close, or partially close, some streets in the downtown area so establishments have more space to seat their guests.
"We do have experience with Thursdays Downtown historically where we've closed streets and been able to let businesses utilize them. And it may be done in a little bit different way, but we're going to look at that. And it may not be closing an entire street, it may just be the parking on the street," said Mayor Kim Norton.
Another option they're looking into is using city parks
Mayor Norton says she could be making an emergency proclaimation allowing these changes as soon as this weekend. That decision would then need to be ratified by the city council, so they will likely be holding a special session next week to do that.