EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — Business owners across Minnesota won't be allowed to have dine-in services effective 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, leading to some worry in the restaurant industry.
"The biggest concern is the uncertainty of it. Trying to forecast all of the 'what-ifs'," said Justin Larocque, owner of the Spud Jr., a restaurant that opened just a few months ago in East Grand Forks.
Justin Larocque has some money saved up and he thinks the restaurant and bar will weather this storm. The Spud Jr. is offering curbside pick-up and delivery within five miles. But there are many others that may not be able to last through the COVID-19 outbreak.
"There's a lot of bars and restaurants that are one bad week away from shutting their doors," Larocque said.
In spite of the financial hit to the mom-and-pop, The Spud Jr. is offering a hamburger and gravy meal with mashed potatoes made with hamburger donated by US Foods.
The restaurant's hope is to feed people who may be struggling because of the economic impact of coronavirus on the community.
"If (you're) in need, don't be ashamed, give us a call, you can Facebook message us," Larocque said. "We're going to treat them just like any other to-go orders."
Other restaurants in the Greater Grand Forks area are offering free food to families and children. More information can be found at the links below:
- The Smiling Moose in Grand Forks is offering free lunches for kids on Tuesday from 11 a.m to 7 p.m.
- Sack lunches are available at Kittsona in Grand Forks from 10 a.m. to 4 pm.
- The Blue Moose in East Grand Forks is offering complimentary lunches to kids from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Mamma Maria's in East Grand Forks is giving pizza to school children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Ground Round in Grand Forks is giving food to families with children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Grand Forks Public Schools has grab and go breakfast and lunch available