ST. CLOUD -- The new bar closing time of 10:00 p.m. is now in effect in Minnesota.

Ray Herrington is the co-owner of four bars and restaurants including Boulder Taphouse, 7 West Taphouse, and the Pioneer Place/Veranda Lounge in St. Cloud.

He says when the governor announced the earlier closing time this week his first reaction was relief because he was expecting worse.

The 10:00 p.m. thing by itself for me and my businesses we're a lot more food orientated, so the 10:00 p.m. isn't that hard.  It's perfectly clear in the update they sent out this morning that all the customers have to be out of the building by 10:00 p.m. that could be more of a challenge.

Herrington says they'll likely have to cut off orders to the kitchen by about 9:15 or 9:30 p.m.

He says the bigger impact on business will be the no bar service mandate.

That really affects bars more than people think.  Those regulars that come in and are there by themselves after work and get a quick beer they are the ones that pay the light bills.  They are there on a regular basis, that's why they're called regulars.

He says other businesses downtown that relies on a later nightlife are going to have a much more difficult time with the early closing time.

Herrington says a big issue for him and most businesses is staffing with workers having to go into quarantine due to close contact with a COVID positive person.

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