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Faribault Voices Heard at State Capitol

Faribault voices heard at Minnesota Senate Press Conference in St. Paul yesterday, December 12th regarding the new dining restrictions. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka , business owners, and community leaders, were given the opportunity to comment on the newly issued restrictions that limit on-sight dining to the outdoors for restaurants and bars across the state.

Jeff LaBeau, the owner of the Depot Bar and Grill in Faribault, was in attendance along with Nort Johnson, President/CEO of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.

Labeau said, “I’m committed to my community, I’m committed to my employees,” and went on to say “If you want to shut everything down, shut everything down. But why are you picking and choosing?”

Johnson also spoke, saying, “Don’t hand them plans and guidelines that in no way, shape, or form can turn into a bottom line.”  He spoke to the importance of restaurants and bars across the state saying, “These are anchor businesses in every community. It’s where people gather, where people feed themselves, it’s where they celebrate. We need them. We can’t have them closing down.”

Other restaurant owners were also present to voice their frustrations over the latest round of restrictions placed on bars and restaurants during the event.  This comes after Wednesday, December 16th when Gov. Walz announced the extension of the ‘pause’, allowing restaurants and bars carry-out and delivery options, but limiting on site dining to be outdoors exclusively with 50% capacity, up to 100 people. The new revisions also continue the pause for indoor recreation facilities like bowling alleys and theaters but do allow for fitness centers to open at 25% capacity, with 12 ft social distancing and everyone must be masked.


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