Some (more) businesses won’t be reopening after the Coronavirus shutdown

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that some businesses won’t be reopening after the Coronavirus shutdown. This weekend produced another example. It was confirmed that Lyn-Lake breakfast cafe the Egg and I, which had been in business since 1980 and been closed since the shutdown order of March 16th, would remain closed even after it is lifted.

City Pages reports:

The old-school diner has been shut down since the March 17 executive order closing Minnesota’s bars and restaurants went into effect. “It’s just not worth it, to open it back up and not know what it’s going to be like,” says Eric Grotbeck, whose mom opened the Minneapolis restaurant more than 30 years ago.

“What’s business going to be like after this?” he asks. “We don’t know how many people will have money, whether they’ll keep going out… it’s just one of those things.” 

This is especially sad as Egg and I is an example of the kind of entrepreneurship which is the backbone of the American economy. As the Star Tribune reports:

Forty years ago, Grotbeck’s mother, Cathy Grotbeck, was a waitress at the Black Forest Inn and a single parent when she decided to partner with two friends to open a new restaurant.

“She put her house up for sale, got a loan, and opened it up,” Eric Grotbeck said. “It was busy right away, so then she called me down to start washing dishes since day 1.”

He was 13 at the time, and essentially grew up in the restaurant, which makes the closure that much harder.

“We had lots of regular customers, lots of employees who have been there for 20-plus years,” he said.

“It’s sad to see it end the way it has,” he added. “It’s not how I pictured it, but it’s the way it happened.”

Its St. Paul sister restaurant, known informally as the Big Egg, will stay open. It is currently doing takeout orders, but even there business is down 90%.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment.