Restaurant closings are still piling up in Minneapolis, and things could get worse

The Star Tribune reported the following today:

Chino Latino, the global street food restaurant near the corner of Lake and Hennepin for 20 years, closed Sunday.

“The decline was in place three to four years ago,” said Phil Roberts, co-founder of Parasole Restaurant Holdings in Edina, which owns and operates Manny’s Steakhouse, Pittsburgh Blue, Field Day, Good Earth and Burger Jones. “It began gradually and then COVID and the protests and rioting hit.”

This is certainly not the first restaurant/business to close permanently citing an unfriendly business environment in Minneapolis. And if current conditions persist, there is a high probability that it will not be the last. Restaurants have already expressed worry about the growing crime situation in Minneapolis. On top of that, they face overly restrictive capacity limits that have made business highly unprofitable. And this will be worse in the winter.

Capacity limits are a big hindrance, especially in the winter.

Up to date, more than 50 restaurants have closed in Minneapolis since the pandemic lockdown. And this trend is not specific to just Minneapolis. Other cities, like Duluth, are also facing closures due to Covid-19 related restrictions. However, things could get even worse for the hospitality industry.

Just quite recently, a survey by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and Hospitality Minnesota has projected that as much as 52% of restaurants would close if current conditions persist in the next 4 to 6 months. And this largely points to the current capacity limits.

A lot of restaurants have cited concern that without being able to seat customers inside and operate at 100% capacity, they might not survive the winter. Restaurants have been creative and are trying to extend the patio season by investing in heating systems. But obviously, not all establishments can afford to make these types of investments. And some would probably prefer to leave the choice to dine in up to their customers. But under the current law, restaurants face little choice on the matter. And this could be disastrous.