Many restaurants and bars 'frustrated' by Gov. Walz's decision to limit outdoor dining

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Joe Bennett, owner of Bennett's Chop and Railhouse in St. Paul, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he is "disappointed" with the decision by Gov. Tim Walz to limit dining to outdoor patios and decks.

"I could not have been more disappointed when I heard," said Bennett. "I thought for sure, June 1, was going to be the date, just everything seemed to be leaning that way."

But, Bennett said, when he was told the governor was only going to allow up to 50 customers– at one time– to eat and dine at bars and restaurants patios, he was "devastated."

"When I only have four or five tables on my patio out front, there are no additional employees I can bring back," said Bennett. "For me, this is about putting my employees back to work and seeing my regular customers because we're all like family."

Walz indicated the reason the state was limiting the reopening to patios and outside decks is tied to the fact that COVID-19 cases continue to rise and this was a "safe measure to take right now."

More from KSTP: 

Walz: Phased plan to reopen bars, restaurants, barbershops and salons starts June 1; Church restrictions remain

Minnesota restaurant owners react to Walz's patio service-only plan