Public Affairs Committee will discuss ideas for outdoor dining

Bemidji’s Public Affairs Committee will meet this afternoon to discuss measures to assist outdoor seating for restaurants and bars.

According to DEED, tables must be six feet apart, maximum capacity is 50, dining parties are limited to four, workers must wear masks or face shields, and customers will be strongly encouraged to wear masks while waiting for food.

Outdoor dining may resume in Minnesota starting June 1 on a reservation-only basis. Some ideas that may  be discussed include city sidewalk permits issued at no fee, business owners requesting the use of sidewalk or street parking stalls through October 1, allowing the expansion of on-premise alcohol sales through October 1, and allowing the rebate of liquor license fees.

The Public Affairs Committee will send their recommendations to the city council, who may approve them as soon as this Friday.

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