A St. Paul restaurant is doing things a little differently when it reopens its patio later this month.
W.A. Frost, located on St. Paul's historic Cathedral Hill, will reopen its patio on June 16 with a smaller menu that's focused on small plates. Restaurant-goers are encouraged to order one of the cold plate offerings and then order a main dish from a nearby restaurant that doesn't have a patio and take home dinner to enjoy.
“We just want to show our support for the restaurant community here in St. Paul,” John Rupp, founder and owner of W. A. Frost & Company, said in a news release. “It’s taken all of us to make Cathedral Hill a hub of good dining and hospitality. We sure don’t want to lose that community spirit now.”
The restaurant, which has served customers in the historic Dacotah Building at Selby and Western since 1976, has been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's reopening is in compliance with the Gov. Tim Walz's executive orders, so it's requiring diners to make a reservation for a spot on the patio and curtailing its patio seating from the usual 150 to 50 seats max. W.A. Frost is requiring a minimum charge of $25 per person.
“We’re set up to be fully compliant with the governor’s Phase II guidelines for operating a restaurant,” Stephanie Laitala-Rupp, co-owner of Commonwealth Properties, which operates W.A. Frost, said in a news release.
All guests are required to wear a mask when they arrive and when they go to the restroom. Once guests are seated, they can remove their masks.
It's doing things this way because the kitchen can only be used for limited food preparation duty, the release says.
“We have found a way to keep the back of the house safe for the very limited type of service we will offer now, but just couldn’t make it work with a chef and other staff in the same room at this time,” Laitala-Rupp said.
Reservations can be made online here.
Meanwhile, Gov. Walz is expected to make an announcement on plans to reopen more restaurants and gyms on Friday at 2 p.m.