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Popular Bemidji coffee shop closes as owners decry COVID measures

"We plead with you to contact your representatives to make a change."

A northern Minnesota coffee shop is the latest establishment in the state to shut down due to COVID-19 challenges.

The Cabin Coffee House & Cafe, located in Bemidji and part of Brothers Group Restaurants, announced its closure Saturday in a Facebook post:

"In setting out to record a statement of closure, we recognized that many of you may not know the full extent of the impact of Minnesota's current restrictions," the owners write, adding that "over 100 restaurants throughout the state have already closed in 2020 and many more are at the brink of shuttering their doors forever."

"To date, our businesses in total have taken a 56.5% loss in comparison to 2019 with 89% of our staff being laid off."

The post goes on to criticize Minnesota's COVID-19 restrictions, taking particular aim at what they call "misleading re-opening dates" set out by the state. 

The owners, Derek and Brett Leach, also included a video in the post, in which they open up about the financial and emotional toll of the pandemic on the restaurant industry.

The Leach brothers conclude their message by asking viewers to contact their local, county and state policymakers in support of "restaurants reopening."

This comes a week after Gov. Tim Walz announced that he is not likely to lift the state's recently extended business restrictions.

Cabin Coffee & Cafe received some national attention in 2016, when Sen. Amy Klobuchar featured their breakfast pastries at one of her weekly "Minnesota Morning" coffee meetings. 

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