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Downtown NU traffic picks up

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Downtown traffic increases A larger number of parked vehicles were observed on Minnesota Street Monday as a number of restaurants reopened with restrictions according to Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan.

NEW ULM — A number of New Ulm restaurants reopened for dine-in business with limitations Monday as Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan went into effect at midnight, Jan. 11.

Changes included opening bars and restaurants at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 150 people. Parties of no more than six people must remain six feet from other parties; bar seating is open to parties of two; reservations are required; and establishments must close between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

“I think most restaurants that reopened Monday had a pretty good day,” said New Ulm Chamber of Commerce President Michael Looft. “It should help provide 2021 revenue. I think most business owners are ready to reopen. They love the community support through this tough time.”

“Lunch was good. We’re taking reservations. Everyone was excited that we opened back up and we’re excited to see them and talk to them. I figure it’ll pick up even more in the evening,” said Lamplighter Sport Bar & Grill co-owner Herb Knutson.

“It’s good to go out to eat again,” said Rebecca Flizsar of New Ulm while dining at the Lamplighter.

Lola’s — An American Bistro Manager Justin Hanan said the regular group of ladies that comes in on Monday for coffee and treats returned to Lola’s Monday.

“We were busy with a lot of walk-ins and a good amount of people taking food to go which is typical for us,” said Hanan.

Applebee’s Grill & Bar General Manager Jerad Brown said business was “great” Monday.

“Everybody is real excited to have people back in and people are real excited to see us. There was a steady stream of people,” said Brown. “People are impressed with our advanced cleaning and sanitization we’re doing. We have a real well flushed out program and procedures for a safe experience. We encourage everyone to call ahead so we can reserve a spot.”

Plaza Garibaldi Manager Victor Magana said a number of people made reservations for later in the day and they social distancing and following guidelines.

“It’s good to see people back in. Hopefully it’ll continue throughout the week,” said Pizza Ranch Manager Jesse Lawrenz. “It’s nice to see people and get more back to normal.”

Rita Hertling at Carl’s Corner in Essig said quite a few reservations were made for Monday night.

“We’re holding our head above water. We appreciate all the people who have supported us,” said Hertling. “It’s key to staying open, that’s for sure.”

Courtland Crow Bar Manager Shelli Martin said she’s taking it one day at a time.

“We’re praying people remember that small businesses need more help than franchises,” said Martin. “This too shall pass. With my faith, we’ll make it through.”

Swany’s Pub owner Kelly Bolduan in Courtland said she had a few walk-in customers Monday.

For more information, visit https://mn.gov/covid19/stay-safe/stay-safe-plan/index/jps

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

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