Rochester,, MN (KROC AM News) - The decision by Gov. Walz to allow only outdoor and limited seating when Minnesota bars and restaurants reopen June 1st isn’t sitting well with many of their owners and operators.

Rochester’s Joe Powers is one of them. He calls the decision “a travesty” and says the industry “is begging” the governor to reconsider.

Powers says Walz promised the hospitality industry in mid-May he would allow 25-percent capacity during a phased reopening and never mentioned the outdoor seating-only option.

Powers says the decision is "complete discrimination against our industry." He says the Walz administration has permitted other large and small businesses to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic with far less oversight and scrutiny than what bars and restaurants face. 

Powers says “rural America is being destroyed in Minnesota” as a result of the shutdown order. He predicts restaurants in many small towns will eventually close for good unless Walz changes his mind on the outdoor-only order.

Powers oversees a hospitality enterprise that includes the Canadian Honker restaurant near St Marys Hospital.

Joe Powers


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