Minnesota's restaurants prepare for reopening, again

Catherine Fyre owns Catz Billiards and Blues, a pool hall and bar in Ely, Minn. Fyre said it’s critical for people in her rural community to be able to get together.

“People need to get out of their homes. And I’m worried for people. They go to the grocery store to socialize,” she said.

For bars and restaurants across Minnesota, forced closures and capacity restrictions have been devastating. Fyre said business fell by half in the last 10 months. 

Even though she can reopen in a few days, Fyre says she’s still frustrated that big retailers have been able to operate normally. Fyre said she’s careful to follow sanitation protocols.

“The big, huge stores can be open, and the Menards and everything. And they’re touching things. We clean up every pool table after people leave,” Fyre said.

Starting Monday, Minnesota restaurants may reopen, but only at 50 percent capacity. Gov. Tim Walz also is easing up on restrictions at bars, movie theaters, gyms and sporting events.