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Wearing Mask, More Numbers and a Fair Parade

A round-up stories we're all talking about: Mandated masks, more numbers, another chance to donate to The Taste Fore the Tour and experiencing the cuisine of the Great Minnesota Get-Together via a very long drive-thru.

Yelp's Stats on Restaurant Closings and What You Can Do

Yelp's latest Economic Average report, released last week revealed that 60 percent of the U.S. restaurants that temporarily shuttered due to the pandemic have since permanently closed. Here are some of the high-profile closings in our area, plus a plan from Hospitality MN on what you can do to help stem the tide of closures.

Culinary Curiosities: They Called it ‘Butterine,’ But Its Popularity Never Spread

Sunday, August 2, is the anniversary of the Oleomargarine Act, signed by President Grover Cleveland in 1886, when the dairy constituency official denied “Butterine,” a nonbutter product, its place in the dairy case. After a heated Congressional debate, the Butter Act of 1886 was created and it remains the only standard of identity for a food product set by Congress.

Reopening amid New COVID-19 Indoor Air Guidelines

COVID-19 has shined a spotlight on indoor air quality and ventilation. Due to factors relating to COVID concerns, experts from the commercial building industry, U.S. EPA Energy Star program, and American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) met in May to discuss how to best operate HVAC and related systems, and to offer recommendations on Building HVAC Operations amid COVID-19.

For Want of a Door, A Taproom Almost Misses Patio Opportunity

When Clutch Brewing Co., opened its taproom inside the Keg and Case Market in St. Paul two years ago, they opted to wait on the expense of a patio. And because they were located inside a food hall, they saw no need to add a kitchen and become a brewpub. Both partners, Jordan Standish and Max Boete had worked in the restaurant business once upon a time and didn’t want that complication.

From Forest to Fork to Singing for Their Sales

Mike Kempenich toyed with the idea of incorporating the term mycology, the branch of biology dealing with fungi, into the name of his business, but only briefly. “It was a neat play on my name, but no one knew the term and [therefore]thought I was vain,” he said with a laugh.

Keg and Case Turns Itself Inside Out for Survival

Keg and Case is an experience that only functions when everything is open, said Gates Lindquist, executive director of the newly refurbished market in the former Schmidt brewery complex on St. Paul’s West 7th Street. Which means the current situation of a pandemic causing the market to abruptly close for three months, then partially reopen with sketchy details from the state on how to support compliance of 20-plus small retail and food businesses is a working pain in progress.

Advocacy Groups Looking for Input and Support for Hospitality

As the pandemic continues to keep restaurants at half capacity, advocacy groups for the industry are working diligently to ensure both local, state and national leaders understand their plight and make wise decisions that will help stem the tide of red ink.

Culinary Curiosities: Food Superstitions in Today's Climate

Every culture has superstitions around food that are centuries old and rooted in logic that made perfect sense at the time, but now seem a little far fetched. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but no house calls just means you have to get in your car and drive to the clinic to see him or her now. But some superstitions have value—if only for entertainment.

Tips for Staying Safe While Using Public Transportation

As workers start to return to restaurants and offices, the empty buses and light rail cars will start to see more bodies boarding them. Here’s some advice from the Center of Disease Control on how to stay safe while traveling to and from your job.

Court Upholds Force Majeure Defense for Missed Rent

In a decision considered the first of its kind, a court held that government restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 “qualify as a force majeure event and represent a valid reason” for non-payment of rent and other contractual obligations, according to an alert by law firm Marks & Klein.

Dark Grocery Expands, May Stick After COVID

Dark kitchens and virtual restaurants continue to expand across the country, but as the pendulum of food spending swings back toward grocery, a similar model is expanding rapidly there as well. While a dark grocery store sounds like nightmare fuel out of a zombie movie or something, these new “microfulfillment” centers, as described in a recent Pitchbook report examining digital grocery operations, are expanding rapidly and attracting millions in investment.
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