ROCHESTER, Minn. - As outdoor seating is now an option for bars and restaurants the city of Rochester is continuing to make sure all businesses have available seating space if they want it.
On Monday diners were about and about in Rochester. Wait staff were seen by KIMT News 3 reporters wearing gloves and masks. Diners are also asked to wear mask but it’s not required.
Mayor Kim Norton says the city has been working with businesses to expand out door seating. Options include using parking space, city parks or even the Mayo Civic Center.
Norton explained, “The Mayo Civic Center offered their space, Joe Ward, offered that space. I know they had been working with one restaurant who decided not to use it but I think a different restaurant has been contacted and it will. I don't know that they're up and running today but I think perhaps by the end of the week, some of the things like, ‘how can we make this work’ will be ironed out. “
There have been 27 restaurants that have applied for permits to expand their outdoor options.
Norton says only three have been approved right now but the city is working to approve more this week.
“Today is a really good step for restaurants, I know it's not what they hoped, but I know they've been excited to open their doors and start serving people again. We're just very hopeful that it's successful not only for the restaurants, but enjoyable for the people in the community as well,” she added.
As far as outdoor dining at the Apache Mall Norton says the city has been talking to mall spokespeople about the option of using the mall’s parking space for outdoor dining as well.