Gov. Walz to Ban Dine-In Service at Bars & Restaurants Again

The rumors about Governor Walz making new restrictions are true. Starting this Friday, November 20 at midnight, bars and restaurants will no longer be allowed to provide indoor or outdoor service. Takeout service can remain. This four-week “pause” will end on Friday, December 18. The Governor will speak at 6 pm tonight to announce this and other restrictions on youth sports and more, and we will supply the full guidelines as they become available in the next day.

**UPDATE** Text of the new Executive Order can be found here.

This has been the most chaotic week in our recent history for on-sale establishments. These new restrictions give only 48 hours to liquidate  food and beverage inventories! I have had several conversations with regulatory agencies last night and today, demanding that they suspend these new restrictions. Putting businesses at even greater risk of closure by not giving enough time to plan is just damn wrong! The MLBA will continue to demand for the allowance to sell off what you currently have so as to minimize the devastation.

Finally, I have also been told that there are no clear plans set for unemployment, state or federal funding, or any financial assistance for the projected next month. This is incredibly irresponsible and unjust. The MLBA will continue be the loudest voice for employees, employees, and patrons of the hospitality industry. Stay tuned for more to come. We are always here for you.

Tony Chesak
Executive Director

MLBA press statement on indoor service shutdown for bars and restaurants

CONTACT: Leslie Rosedahl, 651.353.1818 or [email protected]
November 18, 2020

(St. Paul, Minn.) – Today Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will announce further regulations on bars and restaurants that include no indoor service starting at midnight on Friday, November 20, lasting four weeks until midnight on Friday, December 18. Take-out service could still be available.

Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director, Tony Chesak, issued the following statement in response.

“Today’s news is heartbreaking, and the impact will be devastating. It will most certainly mean significant increased unemployment and further permanent loss of our bars and restaurants across Minnesota.

The hospitality industry has shifted and invested heavily to protect both staff and patrons, and is still barely afloat. The short timeline we are now given for indoor closure will also result in unused inventory left to perish and leave small businesses further in the red.

Bars and restaurant leaders and staff are heading into a bleak holiday season with little to no support from our elected leaders. The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality industry with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter. ‘In this together’ can’t be merely a slogan or our state will see devastating economic fallout on the other end of the pandemic.”

We strongly encourage Minnesotans to support small businesses by purchasing take-out and gift cards whenever possible.”


The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) represents Minnesota’s small, family-owned liquor retailers, both on-sale (of bars and restaurants) and off-sale (at liquor stores).

Hennepin County Board Supporting Bars and Restaurants Impacted by COVID-19

The board allocated $8 million of economic support to local restaurants, bars and food service establishments suffering business interruptions due to COVID-19.

Hennepin County is offering this support as COVID-19 infections continue to rise and public health measures are likely to further impact bars and restaurants.

Grants up to $15,000 will be available to businesses that are locally owned and operated; have a physical establishment in Hennepin County; have 100 or fewer employees; and have $6 million in annual revenues or less.

Since June, Hennepin County has given out more than $22 million in Small Business Relief grants in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Click here for a StarTribune article on this.
Click here for the Small Business Relief Fund from Hennepin County (Application will be posted on the Hennepin County site on Monday, November 23)