Only parts of Twin Cities bars will COVID-'close' on Aug. 1

That Monte Carlo bartender could be standing there, just waiting for their next guest, for… a while.

That Monte Carlo bartender could be standing there, just waiting for their next guest, for… a while. Leslie_Plesser/Shuttersmack LLC

When it comes to local bars and restaurants, the word “closed” has taken on ever more nuanced meaning and applications in recent months… or days, even.

According to a new order issued by Minneapolis’s mayor Jacob Frey on July 29, bar areas will be “closed” to guests beginning tomorrow, August 1. Re-splitting this “closed” hair only pertains to the bar areas within er, bars, establishments, nightclubs, taprooms, and distilleries in Minneapolis

As the Star Tribune reports,  this new ordinance was issued as a minimum of 367 people who tested positive for COVID-19, “said they were exposed or potentially exposed others at a Minneapolis bar.”

Nine watering holes -- Cowboy Jack’s, the Kollege Klub, the Pourhouse Uptown, Sally’s Saloon, Seven Steakhouse Sushi & Rooftop, Stella’s Fish Cafe, the Loop, Union Rooftop and Uptown Tavern & Rooftop -- were specially designated as hubs for “patron outbreaks,” meaning “seven or more” cases could be traced to these places since Gov. Tim Walz’s rolling reopening dates of June 1 and 10. Three additional (unspecified) establishments were the site of “workplace outbreaks,” meaning at least three employees’ positive coronavirus test could be linked to their bar jobs.

During Wednesday’s news conference, Frey explained that this does not close bar-based businesses entirely.

“What we are closing is bar areas,” the mayor said. “That is service from the bar itself directly to patrons, who would otherwise come up to a bar in large numbers, pass their credit card over... and receive some form of drink.”

Physically: The stick, the rail, the thing you’d belly up to… that’s closed now if the place you went had one. In Minneapolis. 

Per the full rules (which you can parse below) milling about is no longer a thing, either. Put those butts in chairs. You’ll be relying on servers, so mask up at bare minimum.

And if this doesn’t work to stem the spread of the virus in bars? There’s only one move left short of c.l.o.s.i.n.g. b.a.r.s.!

…(Sorry, we’re running out of words for “closing” too.)