Skip to main content

Multiple restaurants in Stearns County set to re-open even if Stay at Home is extended

Owners are planning on defying the state's temporary shutdown of dine-in service at restaurants.
Shady's Bar and Grill

A group of restaurant owners in central Minnesota have said they will re-open on Monday, even if the state's Stay at Home order is extended.

Kris Schiffler announced last week that the 6 locations of his Shady's Restaurant chain, in New Munich, Rice, Albany, Burtrum, Cold Spring, and St. Martin, will re-open to customers on Monday, which is when the state's Stay at Home order is due to end.

He says the bars will have sanitizing stations at every entry and told WJON he will remove 25-40 percent of barstools – though hopes to open at "full throttle" at some point.

He said his businesses won't survive on to-go orders for much longer, and also says he has the support from Albany City Council and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

"With that being said they really don’t have the power to over turn Gov. Walz," he wrote on Facebook. 

"With that being said we are Americans, we have rights and we will execute those rights that our forefathers gave us."

He is being joined in re-opening by other Stearns County restaurants including Rookies Sports Bar in Albany, Grumpy's Bar in Cold Spring, Stoney's Bar in Rockville, Shady's Silver Spur in St. Martin, the Brickyard Bar & Banquet Hall in Pierz, and the Side Bar and Grill in Cold Spring.

It comes despite Stearns County being the site of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the state, with 1,443 confirmed cases and 6 deaths as of Sunday, of which 194 are employees at the Pilgrim's Pride poultry plant in Cold Spring.

Gov. Walz is making an announcement regarding a possible extension of the Stay at Home order this week.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

He has previously said that dine-in service at restaurants would likely be among the last things to come back given their potential for close quarters contact that could spread the virus, but has said he's working with the hospitality industry to come up with solutions.

A raft of notable restaurants have announced their permanent closure following the shutdown, with some saying that even when the Stay at Home order is lifted, there's no guarantee they'll be able to stay afloat if the virus is still prevalent.

Schiffler says he has been reaching out to other small businesses in Stearns County to encourage them to re-open too – including hair salons – noting "we need to do this with large numbers."

"Open if you feel it’s safe, stop by and enjoy a cocktail and burger if you feel it’s safe. If you don’t feel safe and your sick = STAY HOME," he said. "We appreciate all the support from everyone and hope continue to Make America Great Again!"

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.


Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.


Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 7.09.12 PM

Reports: Walz set to extend 'Stay at Home' order to May 4

The ongoing closure of dine-in service at bars and restaurant will also continue.


Prior Lake asks Gov. Walz if it can be a test case for restaurant re-openings

Local eateries say many are likely to start closing on June 1.


Walz to announce 'phased plans' for bar, restaurant reopenings

The governor is expected to lay out plans for reopening dine-in service.

Gov. Time Walz

Gov. Walz announces new plans for bars, restaurants, salons, campgrounds

Gov. Tim Walz has announced his plans for the reopening of bars and restaurants.

Tim Walz modeling

Gov. Walz to announce Stay at Home decision at evening press conference

There will also be an update on the state's models in the morning.

Gov. Time Walz

Gov. Walz to let Stay at Home expire, extends peacetime emergency

The peacetime emergency is being extended to June 12.

Screen Shot 2020-05-17 at 10.33.50 PM

AG Ellison sues Stearns County bar owner who plans to open

Bars and restaurants are still subject to a mandatory shutdown due to COVID-19.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz extends Stay at Home order till May 18, with changes

The governor confirmed the order's extension during his Thursday press conference.