There have been a lot of questions on the specific rules for opening of Bars and Restaurants on June 1st. Here is a link to the MN Dept of Employment & Economic Development website. It is not very complete with regards to alcohol requirements for the outdoor seating. So MLBA has been busy trying to get clarification from several state agencies and the Governor’s office. Below are a few of the most common questions with answers compiled by Executive Director, Tony Chesak.
As we sent an update shortly after the announcement by Governor Walz regarding what will be allowed to open on June 1st, 2020, I wanted to give you a quick update. This update will also include some loose ends that I am looking into and will get you answers for very soon.
Please contact your city or county to have them allow you to use “extra” space have it be a parking lot or land adjacent to your building if your patio situation is less than available. Then, PLEASE contact your insurance company to ensure coverage that will have to apply to that land or space you may be utilizing. I have been hearing great reports from cities and counties that are really trying to work with their license holders on providing space needed. We flagged a lot of questions regarding utilizing tents in open areas to then be considered a “patio”. There is still ambiguity on this issue so we will report back when we find out more information. Click here for a Guide from the League of Minnesota Cities on expanding outdoor service.
Will Increased Patios Increase My SAC?
Establishments in the 7-county Metro area that pay Sewer Availability Charges will not have them raised during this Executive Order for increasing their outdoor seating spaces. Only if the larger outdoor patio becomes permanent after things get back to “normal” will the SAC be raised.
Extended Patios on Sidewalks/Roads
I also know that MnDOT is considering allowing bars and restaurants to use roads for outdoor dining during the pandemic. Stay tuned for more on this as well.
I have confirmation that your indoor bathrooms will be allowed to be used by your patio customers. Bar and restaurant owners and staff are encouraged to not have too much socializing around that restroom area and in the bar/restaurant itself.
Charitable Gambling (Pulltabs on your patio)
Below is an update from May 21, 2020, provided by the Gambling Control Board.
Guidance for Restarting Lawful Gambling on June 1
(From MN Gambling Control, https://mn.gov/gcb/)
In conjunction with Governor Walz’s May 20, 2020, announcement, lawful gambling may be conducted outdoors at permitted premises beginning June 1, 2020. These lawful gambling activities must be conducted in compliance with all applicable executive orders and Center for Disease Control guidance. All lawful gambling statutes and rules remain in effect and compliance will be enforced.
Outdoor Sales Conduct
- You may sell gambling equipment only in those areas where food and alcohol are allowed to be served.
- Focus on internal controls.
- Cash and games (including electronic games) must be secured at all times and games must remain in view of the site’s staff to ensure integrity of the games.
- All games (except raffles) must be sold and played outside on the premises, but may not leave the outdoor dining area.
- House Rules must reflect any changes to the conduct of games at the permitted premises.
Gambling Equipment – Ordering and Delivery
- Only gambling managers and assistant gambling managers may place orders for new games prior to the reopening of permitted premises. After restarting, gambling managers may delegate the authority to order more games.
- Delivery of cash banks and any new games may not be made earlier than four days (seven days for electronic gambling equipment) prior to the Governor’s lifting of those executive order restrictions.
We urge your organization to be patient and not restart any gambling activities before they are allowed. Any failure to comply with those requirements prior to the lifting of the executive orders will lead to the prosecution of all violations via applicable adverse administrative and criminal actions.
Please check our GCB website for any updates.
Questions that have not been completely resolved
Beer and Wine To Go
Beer and Wine To Go MAY still be allowed as it has thus far. Reminder, this is still just a bottle of wine and a six pack of beer to go with takeout food orders. This is not a lot of to go packaged product as the MLBA had asked for more (2 bottles of wine and a 12 pack of beer) but were told no. As there has been some speculation on this issue, official word from the Governor’s office is that they will have resolution on this soon. Stay tuned.
Severe or Inclement Weather
I have been in contact with the Governor’s office on this issue and I have been told that they are working on that issue. What are your customers going to do if there is rain during their meal? What are your customers going to do if there is a severe weather alert or heaven forbid a tornado or other natural disaster? These are important questions and we are waiting to hear back from the Governor and his staff. Stay tuned.
As always, please reach out to us with questions, concerns and suggestions. These latest Executive Orders that came out on the 20th of May are not explicit enough, so we will continue to find areas of concern and incompleteness.
MLBA Executive Director