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Video: Early snowfall is a blow for Minnesota restaurants using outdoor seating to survive pandemic

Oct 23, 2020 05:38AM ● By Editor

Watch the Fox 9 News Report here

Patio space at the Original Pancake House is currently closed up as the cold weather moved in this week. Photo: KMSP-TV

By Leah Beno of KMSP-TV Fox 9 News - October 22, 2020

The past year has been a struggle for any business to survive with one of the hardest-hit industries being restaurants.

With indoor seating first closed and later restricted starting in March, many restaurants took steps to increase outdoor and patio space for dining. But, an early blast of winter weather this week has likely brought the patio season to an end.

With snow on Tuesday followed by a mix of inclement weather on Thursday, which included sleet, freezing rain, and even thunder and lightning, few customers were willing to brave the elements.

The long warm patio season many restaurant owners had hoped for is now seemingly a thing of the past.

"It was good while the nice weather lasts," said Original Pancake House manager Ismael Martinez.

The manager of the Original Pancake House says heated tent space is now basically table storage. The owner now looking to possibly expand to vacant space next door, as 50 percent occupancy restrictions continue due to the pandemic.

"It’s too cold for them and I understand that it’s hard for people to be sitting and try to eat faster before their food gets cold," added Martinez.

Needless to say, it's another reason 2020 seems to get more challenging by the day.

To watch the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the KMSP-TV Fox 9 News website.

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