With COVID-19 regulations gone, Sioux Falls bars and restaurants press on


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Beginning Friday, there are no COVID-19-related restrictions for Sioux Falls restaurants and bars. KELOLAND News sets out to see what recent months have been like and what the future could hold.

The last few months haven’t been great for downtown businesses like MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub and WoodGrain Brewing Company.

“It’s definitely been a little slower than under normal conditions, lot of people staying home, not being open for in-house drinking, and but we had a lot of to-go sales,” WoodGrain Brewing Company beertender Ryan Meins said.

“Oh, quite a bit slower than before, obviously,” MacKenzie River manager Tim Sanstead said. “I mean with a lack of events downtown, that certainly doesn’t help.”

While people were out and about Friday night, it’s still not quite a typical Friday in late May for Sioux Falls.

“We’re not at a hundred percent capacity yet,” Sanstead said. “We’ve opened up to about 80% so far. We were at about 50 before the restrictions lifted, and we’ve opened up a little bit more. Opened up our booths, but we’re still trying to be safe.”

“A lot of people are still staying home, I think that’s obvious,” Meins said. “It’s a Friday night, it’s beautiful weather, it’s not as crowded as downtown normally would be.”

Both say the future has good fortunes in store.

“I think we’re going to end up being just fine, just fine,” Sanstead said. “I’m not really worried about it. Our guests have taken really good care of us over the course of the restrictions, when we were doing only take-out. I was pretty impressed with how well they supported us.”

“We have good, a good customer base, they want to see us stay open,” Meins said. “They’re supportive.”

In addition to COVID-19 updates, we have information on cases, symptoms and other resources on the KELOLAND.com Coronavirus resource page.

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