‘Back to Normal’ announcement sparks confusion for Sioux Falls restaurants

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Governor Noem’s Back to Normal announcement has created a lot of questions for Sioux Falls business owners who are still unclear what the new plan means for their business.

“I think everyone’s getting a little stir crazy right now and just anxious to get back to work and start making some money,” Barrel House Owner Mark Fonder said. 

Fonder says the announcement of the governor’s plan fueled the desire for Sioux Falls restaurants to start opening their doors to customers again. 

“Right after that speech by Noem, I ended up getting calls and text messages from other business owners figuring out, can we open? When can we open?,” Fonder said.

Some restaurants like Johnny Carinos in Sioux Falls have already announced they’re planning to open for limited dine-in reservations starting this Friday.

“Our city ordinance still is in effect until May 15, that ordinance says patrons of 10 or less in any restaurant, bar, casino or café. So they can do that, they can take reservations, as long as there’s 10 people or less,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said. 

TenHaken says the governor’s back to normal recommendation didn’t change the laws still in effect in Sioux Falls, but the plan did inspire city leaders to look at making some changes to the current ordinance.

“It could change, there’s a potential for us to rescind that earlier, to make some changes that could supersede that, so that’s what we’re looking at,” Mayor TenHaken said.

“We’re just looking for a date to get prepared,” Fonder said. “We’ve got to prepare food, we’re going to go to paper menus, put sanitizers on the table, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure the guests and all of my employees are safe.”

Fonder says this time of confusion is challenging for local businesses who want to know how to prepare and move forward. The mayor says a clearer directive is coming shortly. 

“Tomorrow morning at 10:30, we’ll have a press conference that probably will provide some more direction for business owners,” TenHaken said. There will probably be some information there about what we’re going to be doing with our parks too.”

You can watch Thursday’s 10:30 press conference live on KELO-TV and KELOLAND.com to learn more about the city’s plan to help re-open businesses.

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