MOORHEAD - It was another step back closer to normal, as bars and restaurants opened their patios and beauty shops, barbers and tattoo parlors were once again able to serve customers Monday, June 1.
On the patio at The Boulder Tap House, Jeff Jenson of Twin Valley was enjoying lunch with his daughter, Jamie Thornton, and his grandchildren.
“It’s great to be able to do this again. Everybody is kind of slipping back into their old routines. I hope it’s not too soon,” Jenson said, adding that eating out was “a treat that we missed.”
“We’re ready to get back to normal as soon as possible,” Jamie Thornton said.
A couple tables down, Joanne Hanson of Moorhead was enjoying “just getting out in the public.”
Hanson had been itching to get out.
“Oh yeah, I’m not a homebody,” she said.
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General Manager Matt Johnson was happy to be serving customers on his patio, especially on a superb, warm sunny day.
“We’ll take it,” Johnson said. “Girls and guys will get some sun.”
A few blocks west on U.S. Highway 10, several couples enjoyed burgers and brews under canopies at JL Beers.
Todd and Lisa Olsen of Thief River Falls had stopped to have lunch with Lisa’s parents at the restaurant..
“We’re enjoying it,” Lisa Olsen said.
Businesses in their hometown had been open for takeout, but “It’s not the same,” Olsen said. “This is beautiful.”
JL Beers Manager Nick Story said it was good to be serving on site again.
“It feels great. Our bartenders and servers are really happy to be interacting with customers,” Story said. “We can definitely see a lot of people coming out.”
Under the “Stay Safe Minnesota” plan, bars and restaurants can serve customers outdoors, while barbers, salons and tattoo parlors can operate indoors at partial capacity.
Restaurant tables must have at least six feet of space between them and can only serve four people - though that is bumped up to six if the diners are all from one family. No more than 50 people can be served at one location at a time.
In the next phase of reopening the economy from the early COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, some indoor service is expected to be allowed.
Gov. Tim Walz has already allowed many businesses, including retail stores and malls, to reopen under a set of rules and guidelines.
Under “Stay Safe Minnesota,” salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors have to have a COVID-19 plan, and customers are limited to 25% of capacity. Plus, customers and workers have to wear masks.
At CiaoBella Salon, 901 Center Ave, Jacquie Molstre said businesses was good.
“People have been waiting a long time for us. They want to get their hair done. We miss everybody, too,” Molstre said.
Violet Deilke and one of her employees had already spent the morning working with customers at the Centre for Hair & Wellness in the Center Mall.
Customers and visitors get their temperatures checked, have to wear a mask, and must wash their hands before getting into the salon.
“This is our first day back open,” Deilke said. “It’s really different times, isn’t it?”
Deilke said the shop was sanitized “top to bottom” for the reopening.
“We have to get back to life. We can’t quarantine for the rest of our lives, and we really need to get our economy back for our country to survive this,” Deilke said.
She's careful about not overbooking, given the extra time that must be spent cleaning each station for the next customer.
“The rest of my staff is coming back tomorrow. They’re apprehensive, but willing. And they’re hungry. They’ve been unemployed for 10 weeks,” she said.
Deilke is grateful to be open again.
“We’re optimistic that this is going to work,” Deilke said.