Drive-in movie nights at Birch's in Long Lake canceled

The events are not in compliance with the stay-at-home order.

Birch's on the Lake Brewhouse & Supperclub in Long Lake has been forced to cancel its planned weekly drive-in movie nights.

"We believed our plans were in compliance with current COVID-19 guidelines, however, we have been informed by the state that we will not be allowed to hold the movie night events at this time," the restaurant wrote in a May 4 Facebook post

Outdoor recreational activities, such as performances and events, are not allowed during Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order, which goes until at least May 18. 

"My understanding is that this was advised as not allowed because it is not currently considered essential travel or an exempted activity under the governor’s extended stay-at-home order and continued temporary closure of bars and restaurants, which remains in effect until May 18," Jake Loesch of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development told Bring Me The News.

Birch's plan was to show movies every Wednesday night on a big screen in the parking lot, similar to a drive-in theater, with customers having the option to order food online and pick-up curbside. The first showing was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6.

According to WCCO, revenue at the restaurant, which sits on the shore of Long Lake, is down about 70 percent, with owner Burton Joseph coming up with this idea to help bring in more business. 

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Birch's was selling tickets at $10 per car and says it will be issuing a full refund for all tickets purchased online. 

"Please watch our website and stay tuned for updates as we will continue to try to hold our movie night events in the future when we are able," the Facebook post said. 

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