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All 5 Minnesota Bonfire restaurants close permanently

The restaurant industry has been closed to dine-in customers since mid-March.

The hits keep coming for the restaurant industry as the weight of the economic shutdown related to the novel coronavirus pandemic has proved to be too much to overcome for Bonfire Restaurants. 

Bonfire announced over the weekend that all five of its Minnesota locations – Blaine, Eagan, Mankato, Savage and Woodbury – are closing for good. 

"On March 17th, we closed the doors to the Bonfire Restaurants, to protect the health of our team, and the community. And today, we have reached the exceedingly difficult decision that the Bonfire legacy will come to an end," the restaurant announced in a letter signed by "The Bonfire Family."

The letter adds that they explored "multiples paths to emerge triumphant" but "there's just no way for us to support the financial weight of our company and the building we call home."

"We were already walking a fine line before COVID-19 and given that no one knows how long the impacts of this pandemic will last, or what the new normal will be, we do not see a viable path forward."

Anyone with an unused gift card to Bonfire will be able to use them in the first two weeks after the company's sister restaurants, Axels, reopens. Axel's are located in Chanhassen, Mendota and Roseville. 

Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order expired at 11:59 p.m. Sunday and was replaced with a "Stay Safe MN" order that allows more customer-facing retail businesses, including malls, to reopen at 50% capacity. 

Restaurants and bars remain closed for dine-in service, but reopening guidelines are expected to be released by Wednesday, May 20, with Gov. Walz saying it's possible that restaurants and bars are allowed to partially reopen beginning June 1. 

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