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Lord Fletcher's is closing earlier than planned due to COVID-19 cases among staff

The original plan was to close for the winter starting in October.

Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge, a popular boat-up restaurant on Lake Minnetonka, closed for the winter earlier than planned after three staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The restaurant said Tuesday it is closing until spring 2021, which is two weeks earlier than it had originally intended, saying it has "decided to do what is best to keep our customers and staff safe and healthy."

On Sept. 18, Lord Fletcher's announced plans to close for the winter on Oct. 12. The restaurant is typically open year-round but made the decision to close due to capacity restrictions on indoor dining, which is currently limited to 50%. 

Winters are challenging times for restaurants as it is in Minnesota, and with fewer people dining out due to the pandemic, patio dining becoming nigh-on impossible.

With this and the ongoing capacity restrictions, establishments will find it harder than ever to survive the winter months, leading to some like Lord Fletcher's deciding to just close until spring.

Over the summer, Lord Fletcher's was on the Minnesota Department of Health's lists of bars and restaurants linked to COVID-19 outbreaks, with 29 cases reported as connected to the restaurant as of July. 

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