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Winthrop restaurant closes

Due to lack of

outdoor seating

WINTHROP – The owners of a downtown Winthrop restaurant and lounge announced it will close its doors as of Sunday, May 24.

“Due to today’s update from Gov. (Tim) Walz, looks like we may be the latest fatality from the (COVID-19) virus,” Hahn’s Dining and Lounge owner Tracy Hahn posted on Facebook Wednesday.

“We are unable to accommodate outdoor dining at our restaurant. We have been given no timeline as to when it will end,” continued the post. “This has been a very difficult decision for me, but we are not able to sustain our business on take-out only.

“If and when we are able to open our restaurant, we will try to pick up the pieces at that time. Thank you to everyone for your support. Love and God’s blessing to all of you. Curt and Tracy,” concluded the post that received more than 100 comments less than 24 hours after the post.

Hahn’s Dining and Lounge will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Saturday, May 23.

“We’re bleeding money every day we’re open,” said Tracy Hahn. “It’s too much work for one person, but not enough for two. We’re going to take a break.”

“We’ve only got room for two tables of outdoor seating (that would be allowed for restaurants to serve food on site on June 1),” Hahn added. “We could social distance quite well. We’ve got room for 300 in our ballroom and can seat 50 at our bar.”

Hahn said she hopes to re-open the restaurant and lounge at some point but she has no timeline yet.

“We have no definite future. We don’t know when we can serve people inside. This is way too overblown,” Hahn said. “We’re in the eighth-year of a 15-year loan and don’t want to stretch it out more.”

Hahn believes the COVID-19 virus already passed through the restaurant in January, before anybody knew much about it.

“My cook came back from California and Hawaii in January,” Tracy said. “For a couple months, I was miserable with a cough and stuffy sinuses, but I still came to work.”

Hahn said her daughter who lives in Minot, N.D., said restaurants there shut down for a few weeks, re-opened, and very few people have died of the virus.

“It’s tragic here for small business owners,” Tracy said.

On it’s Facebook site, Hahn’s Dining customers praised the restaurant for its soup, taco and salad bars and friendly service.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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