ST. PAUL — Like so many businesses up and down West Seventh Street in St. Paul, Cafe Astoria lined their doors and windows with plywood over the weekend.
That was the common response after protests over George Floyd’s death morphed into widespread rioting and looting that destroyed numerous businesses throughout the Twin Cities.
And while St. Paul has been relatively calm for the last couple of days, some businesses will remained closed on Monday, June 1 despite the fact Gov. Tim Walz has given them permission to reopen on a limited basis amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Phase II of the “Stay Safe Minnesota” reopening plan, which goes into effect Monday, restaurants and bars will be limited to outdoor dining only with no more than 50 people allowed at a time, while barber shops, hair salons, and tattoo parlors can operate at a maximum 25% capacity.
“I’m very unsure if we’re going to reopen Monday,” Cafe Astoria co-owner Leah Raymundo said. “I’ve been hearing so much I feel it might not be safe for the business.”
It’s unclear exactly how many businesses will remain closed, though judging by the amount of plywood on Western Seventh Street and parts of University Avenue, a lot of businesses owners will be approaching the situation with caution.
Saints Coast Barber Studio owner Chris Osborn said his shop won’t reopen until at least Tuesday. That gives him and his staff a couple of nights to reassess the situation before making a decision. In the meantime, the shop remains boarded up with “JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD” spray painted on the front.
Grand Avenue Tattoo will also remain closed with owner Ransom Bennett citing an “abundance of caution” as his main reason. boarded up his shop with messages commemorating George Floyd.
Outside of the Twin Cities, the Mall of America has decided to postpone its planned June 1 reopening of retail stores. “As soon as we confirm a new reopening date, we will share it,” a statement read. “Additionally, curbside pickup at Mall of America has been suspended. A notice will be posted on our website when it resumes.”
Additionally, Target has temporarily closed dozens of storefronts across the Twin Cities metro with locations on Lake Street and Uptown closed indefinitely after taking damage.
As for Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub a couple of blocks from the Xcel Energy Center, owner Tom Reid said the patio will be open as planned Monday, barring anymore unrest in St. Paul.
What happens June 1
Phase II of Governor Tim Walz’s “stay safe” plan begins Monday with these changes:
- Restaurants and bars — In-person dining is outdoors and no more than 50 customers. Reservations required. Masks required for workers, strongly recommended for customers. Six feet of distance must be maintained.
- Personal services (salons, tattoos, barbershops) — Maximum occupancy of 25 percent. Appointments required. Masks required for workers and customers. Six feet of distance must be maintained.
- School buildings — Can be open with hybrid model of in-person and distance learning for summer learning per Centers for Disease Control and Minnesota Department of Health guidance.
- Organized youth sports — Can start per MDH guidance with no games. Recommendations for social distancing, masking when appropriate, following routine disinfection of high-touch items (balls, rackets, bats, other equipment), promoting health checks, and screening of participants and staff/volunteers.
- Campgrounds and charter boats — Open with guidance, which includes capacity limits and cleaning of facilities, and discouraging the sharing of fishing equipment and sanitizing it between uses.