PIPESTONE, M.N. (KELO) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz ordered a partial closure of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues on Monday. The closures went into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday night.
Minnesota restaurant owners woke up to a new reality Wednesday morning.
“We served our last customer last night that had been coming here 50 years,” Tony Arends, owner of Lange’s Cafe, said.
Last night, Lange’s Cafe in Pipestone closed its doors in response to the governor’s mandate. Arends is back at work Wednesday but with limited hours and service.
“We are going to try take-out and curbside pickup and hope for the best, but we’re really unsure if that will work,” Arends said.
Larry Miller is a regular at Lange’s Cafe. He says normally, the restaurant is a gathering place.
“This big table here is always full of regulars and the two booths is two different booths,” Miller said.
But the cafe isn’t only popular with the locals.
“There’s people that you’ve got to know over the years that just drive through that stop here. A lot of them are on their way to Sioux Falls to the doctor or whatever, appointment of some kind, or shopping and they stop here because it is a good place,” Miller said.
And now, the new reality is a lot quieter.
“It’s kind of a ghost town and it’s an eerie feeling because you had anywhere from 30 to 40 regulars in here everyday at six in the morning having coffee and pie and shaking dice,” Arends said.
Still, Arends is staying positive about the future.
“Everything will pass. It’ll be alright, it will,” Arends said.
The hours for Lange’s Cafe also look different. Normally, they are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Now, however, they will only be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. then 5-8 p.m.