As Minnesota restaurants navigate the financial and safety issues of the pandemic, one acclaimed eatery has announced it has decided to shut down indoor dining towards the end of fall.
Alma Cafe, Hotel and Restaurant in Marcy Holmes says it will close its dining space beginning Nov. 2, while still offering "limited take out" and stays at its boutique hotel "that can limit direct contact and observe high standards for social distancing."
The winter months have always been challenging for Twin Cities restaurants due to the weather, and typically results in a flurry of closures every January.
And with research showing there is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in indoor settings, and with a 50% indoor capacity restriction still in place in Minnesota, Alma could be the first of many to shutter during the cold months.
"Two months after the restaurant re-opening our ability to remain solvent as a business and keep people working safely over the cold months ahead remains uncertain as ever," co-owners Alex and Margo Roberts wrote on Facebook.
"Alma experienced major financial losses in the first 6 months of 2020, now with the threat of COVID-19 spiking again and the normal seasonal drop in business we are certain that losses will continue over the next several months."
"It is agonizing to eliminate jobs of the very people that have helped Alma survive this pandemic, but what's very clear to us is that Alma cannot safely operate as a dine-in concept this winter and we cannot afford to employ the same workforce," they wrote.