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Council takes up street closure

NEW ULM — The New Ulm City Council will consider closing down a section of Minnesota Street to allow downtown restaurants to reopen.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tim Walz has allowed restaurants and bars to open with outside seating not to exceed 50 patrons.

Following two community meetings, city staff developed and presented a plan for bars and restaurants to safely open by extending serving areas into Minnesota Street.

Minnesota Street from 1st North to Center Street and 2nd North to 3rd North would be closed on the weekends of June 5 and June 12. Both weekends, the closure would last from 5:30 p.m. Friday to Sunday night. This would allow establishments to move dine and drink service into the street adjacent to the business.

All restaurants and bars that choose to participate must fence off temporary patios with a single entry and exit point. All patrons must make reservations before seating. Bars must use plastic cups and must use wristbands to ID individuals over 21. Each establishment is limited to12 tables with 6 foot distancing between them.

Any bar or restaurant serving alcohol on a temporary patio must submit an updated insurance certificate to the city by Thursday, June 4.

This plan had the support of the majority of downtown business owners but will require approval from the council. The council will also need to authorize requests of establishments to extend liquor licenses to new outdoor patios.

Lola’s and Sozial are the only two establishments requesting license extensions on Minnesota Street.

Lamplighter, Mona Lena and the New Ulm American Legion have requested extensions into patio space behind the businesses.

Smiley’s and Plaza Garibaldi are requesting extensions into their parking lots.

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