Central Minnesota Bar Owners Says He’s Opening May 18th
ALBANY -- A central Minnesota bar owner is planning to open up his six businesses to dine-in customers on Monday, May 18th regardless, even if the Governor extends the Stay At Home order beyond that date.
Kris Schiffler owns Shady's locations in New Munich, Rice, Albany, Burtrum, Cold Spring, and St. Martin. He says all six locations have been offering to-go food with the support from the community being huge. However, he says they just can't survive like that much longer.
He went to Wednesday night's Albany City Council meeting, along with about 25 other small business owners, and spoke during the open forum.
A lot of Albany small business owners, a lot of hair salons actually were there. We have a lot of hair salons in these small communities that have nothing right now, they don't have to-go food. So trying to get everybody on the same page and I think we have a chance with the law of numbers.
Schiffler says he's also had conversations with the Albany Police Chief and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.
They have to send somebody there no matter what, which is understandable, somebody calls you got to check on it. They've got to come there and tell everybody to leave, if nobody leaves they can't make them leave.
Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka says not knowing what the Governor's Orders might look like on May 18th it is hard for him to say what will happen. He says law enforcement around the state has been hearing some rumblings from businesses saying on social media that they are going to open either on or before the 18th.
Soyka says for now they'll continue to do what they've been doing which is respond to every citizen complaint that they receive. He says they are not out looking for violators and won't stop anyone that they see who is in violation without getting a complaint from someone else. He says they have not had to issue any citations in the county so far. But, if they can't get someone to comply with the order and do have to issue a citation it's then out of the Sheriff's Office's hands and becomes a state issue on whether or not the state wants to enforce the citation.
Shiffler says he has a plan in place for safe social distancing.
We're going to remove some of our barstools, I don't know what percent we're going to go down to, we're hoping to be open full throttle at some point, but we'll probably remove 25 to 40 percent of our barstools.
He says he's got 168 employees that aren't working right now.
Shiffler says he's talked to other bar owners in Cold Spring, Albany and Freeport who are also considering opening on May 18th.
Shiffler says he's not trying to break the law and he's not trying to get people sick, he says he just can't survive on to-go orders alone much longer.