Restaurants Express Optimism After COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted
It doesn’t take much to lure golfers when the weather warms up.
“The weather’s been kind of up and down, but we get those nice days and it fills up out here,” said James Wallenberg, general manager D’Amico at Edinburgh USA in Brooklyn Park.
Mother Nature allowed Edinburgh USA to open two weeks earlier than expected this year. Wallenberg says that’s welcome news, considering that for many restaurant and entertainment venues, COVID-19 restrictions have been challenging.
“It’s been a hard year, but I think now that the light is here and we’re almost done, I think we’re going to see a good summer in 2021,” he said.
The “light” that Wallenberg is referring to is the rollback of restrictions announced last week by Governor Walz.
Under the governor’s announcement, there are no longer occupancy limits or distancing requirements for outdoor seating.
And on May 28, the state will lift those restrictions on indoor venues.
Staff members started planning right after the announcement.
“We had a meeting at 4:00 with all the sales people and all the GMs,” Wallenberg said. “So we all got together and started going over plans. What can we do, what we can’t do still, what we’re gonna monitor, and what we can kind of loosen up on.”
A new chapter for The Brooklyn
In 2019, D’Amico Catering took over the restaurant at Edinburgh and renamed it The Brooklyn.
The first year went well, then COVID-19 hit in year two. Now the hope is that the third year’s a charm.
“The burgers are really good,” said Eddie Engstrom, a golfer from Shorewood. “I don’t know if there’s anything special they’re adding to their burgers, but I just love their burgers here.”
Engstrom is clearly a fan. He joined a group of friends for lunch after a round of golf and reacted to the governor’s announcement with cautious optimism.
“It’s good that we’re getting a little bit back to normal,” he said. “Of course, everyone’s still going to have to do their part.”
The Brooklyn still plans to have some restrictions in place for the foreseeable future.
But for now, they’re just excited to welcome everyone back.
“We’re still going to have the masks inside, even after the mask mandate, for our employees,” Wallenberg said. “Still going to monitor levels. We’re not going to fill the house up just because we can. We want to make sure that every guest that comes in feels safe as well.”